My parents came from Poland and Czechoslovakia, at twenty I ousted myself from my country, foreseeing that the nation would take on something like the air of a general prison; that wasn’t to my taste (I would come to learn that the whole planet is a general prison): I was born in Cuba, where I left no progeny, and I will not return: I am the first and last Cuban generation (1243).

I chose this passage written by Jose Kozer initially because the bio says that he taught at Queens College and is a Latino/Jewish which I found very interesting.  Besides the bio, I found the text in “First & Last” very captivating.  The reader immediately identifies with him being Cuban from a Polish and Czechoslovakian descent.  At the age of 20, Kozer explains that he exiled himself because of the political issues that were happening in Cuba at the time.  He views Cuba as a prison, and this identifies with his lack of freedom in the country.  When he points out “I would come to learn that the whole planet is a general prison”, Kozer is addressing the social struggles that inhabit the earth.  Kozer states that he was born in Cuba but that he will not have any Cuban offspring and he will not return back to that life. He says he is the “first and last” which demonstrates to the reader that his experiences with Cuba left a bad taste in his mouth.  Even though it is his native country he does not have any desire to return there.



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