In “Coming into Language,” Jimmy Santiago Baca defines how the went from being illiterate come learning how to read and write and also eventually coming to be a poet, while spending many of his work in prison. Terrified of not discovering his schoolwork and also asking questions, Baca walk through college being illiterate, till he dropped out in the 9th grade. Snapshot books with world of his nationality to be the only form of interest. Listening to prisoners read the end loud to every other motivated him to discover his own language.

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In this creating Baca defines to his readers how becoming a writer aided him trough the difficult years as an inmate in prison. Unable to to express what he felt, Baca rebelled and was arrested prior to he was eighteen. In prison he met inmates who check out to every other, and also through the writer’s indigenous he had the ability to imagine he was somewhere else and could be part one else because that a moment. Baca stated, “Their language was the magic that could liberate me indigenous myself, change me into another person, transport me to other places far away”(19).


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After the readings the inmates went back to their Chicano language, the bilingual native that just they knew. Baca wrote, “Through language ns was free. I could respond, escape, indulge; embrace or disapprove earth or the cosmos”(21). Baca felt comfortable around the inmates, they were people similar to him, the exact same background and also the exact same upbringing. He began to learn and also understand the barrio life, wherein he was from.


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ns think that is was necessary for Baca to recognize where he to be coming from. Discovering the language of your very own can assist you understand who you are and also in time can help express yourself in methods other than rebellion.

Learning and accepting the Chicano language, Baca wouldn’t need to pretend to be someone rather anymore. Ns think because that Baca, finding out all the he did while he was in prison helped him in many ways that he needed. My uncle has been in and also out the prison many of his life, he made decision to check out the bible and also participate in church activities. I think it did not aid him in any method that he needed because he is quiet to today in prison. He got out a couple of months ago but went ago in the following month. The prison system is set up for inmates to work while they do their time.

After refusing, Baca was sent to best security, safety twenty- three hrs a day, because that months guards and other inmates mistreated him. After ~ coming out of isolation, Baca said, “I was born a poet one noon”(24). “I created to sublimate my rage, indigenous a ar where every hope is gone, native a madness of having been damaged too much, indigenous a silence of death rage”(25). I believe by writing poetry for other inmates come send to their loved ones and also in his journal, Baca was able to survive the rough days of gift badly abused in prison.

Once Baca learned who he was, composing what he felt and putting it into words helped Baca come to be a stronger person. Mine uncle has actually been in and out of person most of his life, and also never has actually he came house with some type of journal around what he to be thinking and also feeling. Occasionally I wonder if he had been writing in one, if he would have actually been various the last time he came out, putting all his hate and anger in writing instead of hurting himself. I believe that Baca composed this piece for young adult who are in a comparable situation. Not learning what you room doing in this human being can it is in frustrating because that many.

I can relate to Baca because my uncle has been in prison for part time now, and every time he gets out, some exactly how he ends up back in. He perfect school and knows exactly how to read and write. Ns think maybe instead of reading the holy bible all the moment or lifting weight, he should have actually written his very own story while being locked up. He could have removed a many anger and also hate. Writing is worth trying, specifically if you have very little to do.

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Works Cited

Baca, Jimmy. “Coming right into Language” in The Mercury Reader. Boston: Pearson Publishing, 2003.


Coming right into Language. (2020, Jun 01). Retrieved from https://usmam.org/coming-into-language-1712-new-essay