Los Vendidos

In his play, Los Vendidos, Luis Valdez demonstrates humor, while still demonstrating his opinion towards society. He begins by introducing a Mexican Salesman, and Miss Jimenez, a Mexican-American secretary for Governor Reagan, who is in search of an appropriate Mexican that can serve on the administration. The salesman takes Miss Jimenez to multiple different models and possibilities for her purchase. However, her request is specific: must be hard-working, must speak English, cannot be too dark, and must be a Mexican-American. As Valdez takes the audience on the quest for the perfect purchase, he criticizes the stereotypes given to Latinos by society, yet also demonstrating the struggles of Latinos, in order to demonstrate the theme of oppression.
In Los Vendidos, Valdez uses 3 different stereotypes in order to criticize society’s on Latinos. For example, Miss Jimenez is taken to three different characters as possibilities for the administration. The salesman takes her first to a hard-working famer who survives on beans and tortillas. Miss Jimenez is at first impressed by his extremely hard-working skills, but immediately changes her mind upon finding his lack of English speaking skills (Valdez   1337-1338). This poses criticism towards the first stereotype of Latinos: the typical farm worker. On his investigation on Migrant Farm Workers, Michael Romanowski explains that workers tend to be “victims of stereotypes,” and at times are negatively affected because most believe that those with “poor English skills are slow” (Romanowski 27). Not only is it stereotypical for one to assume that all Mexicans are farm workers, but also the connotation that is linked between the two is a negative one. Farm workers are viewed as uneducated and unintelligent, and regardless of their hard working skills, as Miss Jimenez was impressed by, they are still casted in a negative light; and especially could not be seen as part of an administration for an American governor.