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Never Marry A Mexican Analysis

Essay 1

The women in Sandra Cisneros’ stories are emblematic of the struggle many Mexican immigrants face in attempting to incorporate aspects of themselves that negative cultural preconceptions have led them to despise. The following analysis will be given on “Never marry a Mexican.”

How It Began

Sandra Cisneros, author of The House on Mango Street and other works, was born in a low-income family of seven children in Chicago, Illinois, in 1954. Her mother was Mexican American, while her father was fully Mexican. Growing up as the only girl among six brothers gave her a “sense of having seven fathers.” (Yudin & Kanoza 2001)

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Cisneros was shuttled back and forth between a series of dreary flats in Chicago and her grandmother’s ranch in Mexico City as a youngster. This scenario, known as the “idea of home or its absence,” has played an important role in Sandra Cisneros’s novels, which follow negative Mexican stereotypes (Yudin & Kanoza 2001). Sandra Cisneros’ life tells us a lot about her surroundings.

The addition of a nomadic existence and the social isolation inherent to a constantly cycling cycle of friends, schools, “his brothers’ refusal to allow a girl join in their games,” coupled with her natural inclination toward an inner life populated by books, ultimately drove Cisneros toward an internal world filled with books. It was this solitary, creative time that gave birth to Cisneros’s “observant, creative voice” (Yudin & Kanoza 2001)

In 1974, Cisneros enrolled in a creative writing course at Loyola University’s Chicago campus, where she completed her bachelor of arts degree in English (Yudin & Kanoza 2001). She then traveled to the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop and obtained a Master of Fine Arts degree before publishing short stories including “Never Marry a Mexican,” from Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories, which we’ll evaluate.

Sandra Cisneros: “Never Marry a Mexican” History of Creation

Cisneros’s second collection of short fiction, Woman Hollering Creek, and Other Stories, was rejected by Random House. This represented “the first time a work by or about Chicana women had been given a contract with a major publishing house” (Yudin & Kanoza 2001). Sandra Cisneros has won numerous writing awards for her fiction, including the Before Columbus American Book Award and the PEN Center West Award for The House on Mango Street, a collection of short stories (Yudin & Kanoza 2001).

Cisneros was also the recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowships, a Dobie-Paisano Fellowship, and a MacArthur Fellowship (Yudin & Kanoza 2001). A year after publication, Loose Woman became well known and won the Mountain & Plains Booksellers’ Award for being an outstanding work of creative literature (Mountain & Plains Independent Booksellers Association).

According to Cisneros, Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories has a “single, unifying thread of vision and experience that runs throughout the collection of twenty-two narratives,” which she claims is represented by a “female lens” (Yudin & Kanoza 2001). This viewpoint is decidedly feminine in nature when it comes to sex, culture, and racism. Woman Hollering Creek follows several Mexican American females from San Antonio, Texas, such as La Malinche (Cisneros 1991).

The book’s last section, “Never Marry a Mexican” and “Bien Pretty,” in particular address women torn between two nations – they’ve successfully “assimilated into American culture,” yet they retain a cryptic yearning for their native Mexico. Cisneros’ heroines exist in an ambiguous position. The third part of the book covers the difficulties adult Hispanic ladies encounter as they try to discover their place in a world that is both familial and cultural pressures, as well as conventional gender roles (Yudin & Kanoza 2001).

Long Way to the Insight

The protagonist of “The Bride” is Cleófilas, a Mexican bride who is married to a brutal and violent Texan man (Cisneros 1991). Cleófilas, a soap opera addict, pines away daydreaming about the flames she sees on television soap operas with her girlfriend, and recognizes that her fantasy has at last been fulfilled when Juan Pedro arrives, wanting to get married right away “without a long engagement since he can’t afford to lose any time from work” (Cisneros 1991).

Juan Pedro carries Cleófilas away to the border town of Seguin, Texas, where “you had to rely on your husband” (Cisneros 1991). Despite her tragic circumstances, Cleófilas still watched her life play out in terms of a soap opera fantasy. “There were no commercials in between for comic relief,” she says. (Cisneros 1991)

Juan Pedro has an affair with a woman named Cleófilas, who works as his house cleaner. She flees the marriage after numerous beatings, Juan Pedro’s unquestioning infidelity, and disgraceful treatment. She returns to her father’s home in Mexico, where she gives up one dominating male force for another – her father (Cisneros 1991). But in the ending, when Cleófilas spots a faint glimmer of what it is to be free, beholden to no one, on her way back home. When they go down the Woman Hollering Creek and her female driver bellows out (Cisneros 1991).

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“Never Marry a Mexican”: Summary

The author’s background as a kid living in a house with men has undoubtedly colored her perspective on them – the males in Woman Hollering Creek, and Other Stories are all of a similar ilk: violent, overbearing, inconsiderate, macho-addled, sexually charged. The collection’s use of sex to comfort, control, and flee is a recurring theme that appears in the work of fiction “Never Marry a Mexican,” which focuses on a young Hispanic woman named Clemencia (Cisneros 1991). As a protagonist, Clemencia is both amusing and frightening: an example of opposites.

Jilted by a man she claims to have loved, she scorns marriage and men. “I’ll never get married,” she vows. It wasn’t any guy in particular. I’ve known plenty of people closely. They’ve been unfaithful to me; they’ve participated in my illicit activities unzipped and unhinged . I was an accomplice, an intentional criminal with committed premeditated offenses on my record.

In contrast to the previous versions, this edition gives a slightly different perspective on Cisneros’ character. In this book, she is portrayed as an “anti-hero,” demanding that her aggressions be handled correctly so that they do not get out of control. It seems that she recognizes it herself and in effect encourages Clemencia’s sexual freedom. However, according to the narrative, Cisneros regards the power as somewhat cheap because it arises from a misuse of sexuality and is a dangerous consequence of women repeating men’s mistakes. Clemencia’s dislike for her American partner is apparent, but the reader senses that her negative emotions are fueled by her developing sense of inadequacy and guilt as a result of her inability to speak Spanish.

Negative Mexican Stereotypes and Consequences

Clemencia represents the Mexican American quandary, the cultural no man’s land that is available to “Chicanas who must deal with the triple bind of not being considered Mexican, not being considered American, and not being male” (Yudin & Kanoza 2001) like many other women in Woman Hollering Creek, and Other Stories.

Since Clemencia’s actions appear rebellious, her voice appears antagonistic. “Never marry a Mexican,” says irony in reference to some advice given to Clemencia by her mother when she was a youngster (Cisneros 1991). Her mother openly lamented her decision to marry her father, and her efforts to protect Clemencia from making the same errors ultimately consigned the young girl to cultural and social isolation (Yudin & Kanoza 2001).

Though many of the characters in this book are Latino, it is an introduction to a Latino who has transcended poverty and hardship. Silverette (1990) starts out as a typical love story but soon demonstrates how culture and social realities shape our lives and determine who we become. One translation debuts at six volumes, with six follow-ups planned. However, they will never legitimize their relationship by getting married to her because a wife must be of the same race (Cisneros 1991). Clemencia “allows herself to get involved with a new guy after every breakup – always married and white” (Fitts 2002).

Never Marry a Mexican: Analysis

Negative Mexican stereotypes and their influence on the heroines’ relationships are discussed in one of the “Never Marry a Mexican” themes. Her choice in men reveals a lack of self-esteem at her core. Sandwiched between two cultures that neither would claim, Clemencia becomes angry (Cisneros 1991). Like the males she holds in contempt yet admires, Clemencia “takes lovers readily and leaves them quickly; she uses sex as power, a weapon. She goes to bed with a guy while his wife is giving birth to their kid, then sleeps with him years later when he’s grown up (Cisneros 1991)”

The protagonist in Clemencia, like her counterpart in Don Juan: The Legend, is a woman wanting to control and dominate others. She wants authority without sacrificing her own power. “The author’s approach to the study of femininity stemmed from postfeminist feminist theory, which focuses on the relational quality of women’s lives (Thomson 1994). As a heroine, Clemencia’s quest for happiness, peace, and love has emotional impact. It captures Cisneros’ feelings of isolation and separation while growing up between homes, cultures, and continually rejected by men.

“Her pain and loneliness are obvious,” according to Clemencia (Yudin & Kanoza 2001). When she sleeps with his son, she exacts a strange type of revenge on a married lover (Cisneros 1991). For Clemencia, the sexual connection with the younger generation “links her to his father and mother’s marital relations, of which he is the result, and her lover’s relative youth allows her to mother him.” (2001)

The dysfunctional logic that propels the connection simultaneously debases and honors what Clemencia refuses herself — “marriage and motherhood” (Yudin & Kanoza 2001; Mullen 1996). Misinterpreting sexual power as individual power, Clemencia explains her presence thus: “Human beings pass me on the street, and I wish to reach out and strum them like guitars. Sometimes all of humanity seems beautiful to me” (Cisneros 1991).

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Clemencia’s “world is built around an emptiness, a vacant space she can never quite fill, and she thinks that everyone must share this lack. Guitars make music only because they are hollow,” according to Thomson (1994). Cisneros’ “use of male behavior as a catalyst for her female characters to delve deep inside themselves for the love that men had failed to provide” (Campbell 1991) is used in order for her novels to deliver this message.

Critics’ Assessments

According to Rosenfeld’s 2002 research Measures of Assimilation in the Marriage Market: Mexican Americans 1970-1990, “Mexican immigrants have extremely high levels of national origin endogamy (as do immigrants from other parts of the world), but they also encounter significant social hurdles when dealing with native Whites.

According to American sociologist, Robert Faris (2002), “not all Mexican immigrants are attempting to integrate into the general American society or join a particular native group.” “The main themes of Woman Hollering Creek,” according to Critics such as Palmisano, include “poverty and cultural suppression, the quest for self-identity, and the position of women in Mexican American culture” (Palmisano 2004).

Others, like Fitts (2002), believe that Cisneros’s “characters engage in a never-ending process of cultural mediation as they try to reconcile their Mexican heritage with their American present” (Fitts 2002). Wyatt (1995) understands that Cisneros’s women traverse an “ambiguous space between cultures” and that… In the short story Never Marry a Mexican by Cisneros, she complicates the idea of challenging feminine gender roles by taking on some of the characteristics of masculinity.”.

According to Goldstein and Chen (1999), the study of cultural impact on Mexican-American families conducted by Silverstein and Chen revealed that “any social and economic advantage accrued to younger generations of Mexican Americans through assimilation must be offset against the danger that such success might bring with it psychic costs resulting from diminished social and emotional integration with older family members, as well as a weakening of the Mexican culture as a whole.”

However, Cisneros’ narratives, particularly Never Marry a Mexican, seem to confirm Rosenfeld’s hypothesis that the contentious relationship between Mexicans and Americans develops a fissure within Mexican immigrants themselves, causing them to be unable to discover their own home and thus leaving their physical homes out of reach. Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories is populated by Mexican women who are caught betweend different civilizations but also between opposing ideas about themselves, their sexuality, and their role (Cisneros 1991).

Conclusion

The reader experiences Cisneros’s female characters “struggle toward self-definition and control over their own destinies” as they come to terms with the soul-deadening constraints of familial and cultural expectations (Palmisano 2004).

Many of these ladies attempt to gain self-definition and control by manipulating men, either sexually or other ways, thinking that this will provide them with happiness and personal fulfillment. As is evident from the “Never Marry a Mexican” study, Cisneros’s heroines mirror the difficulties faced by Mexican immigrants in integrating the aspects of themselves that negative cultural preconceptions have taught them to despise.

Essay 2

The narrator of “Never Marry a Mexican” by Sandra Cisneros recounts her unhappy relationship with a married white man in the tale. It’s clear that the speaker is Hispanic, although his or her age is unclear. However, most readers will infer that the events described in “Never Marry a Mexican” took place over an extended amount of time. As a result, “Never Marry a Mexican” is an excellent, punchy short story about self-loathing and white privilege.

White people are extremely powerful in the Western Hemisphere because their ancestors conquered the New World. As a result, America’s forefathers established a system that prioritized white people’s progress while disregarding others’ (Blay 2011).

Many people of color have adopted the ideas of white supremacy, according to Yaba Amgborale Blay (2011), and are unconscious about it. Clemencia tells Drew that her mother advised her not to marry a Mexican because she would have a miserable existence if she did. As a result, the mother instills self-hatred in young Clemencia, who comes to believe Latino males are inferior to whites.

People of color in the United States are frequently regarded as inferior because the system constantly tells them that they are not entitled to the same rights as white people. Additionally, Clemencia’s mother’s statement shows that people of color tend to believe that white folks are more successful than others.

“Even if the white girl was poor,” she adds. (Cisneros 110) This demonstrates that the narrator believes that white people are more distinguished than Mexicans. Clemencia was not interested in marriage, but she enjoyed the attention of married white men. She says on page 114, “And he adopted me under his wing and in his bed, this man, this instructor, your father.” “When I was a youngster, I was honored that he’d done me the favor” (Cisneros), and this passage indicates that the narrator valued white attention since it made her feel unique. Clemencia also wants to be accepted by the white community so she may benefit from white privilege.

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The narrator feels that Mexican-Americans are distinct from Mexican nationals because they have absorbed some of the White American culture. According to the narrator, Mexican Americans are despised since they are not completely Mexican. Because she understands she will never be accepted by White Americans or Mexicans, Clemencia battles with herself.

Essay 3

In “Never Marry a Mexican,” Sandra Cisneros explores the idea of not seeking for someone who can harm you and being wary of what you pick as it may harm you. Sandra Cisneros, the author of Woman Hollering Creek, and Clemencia, the protagonist of “Never Marry a Mexican” all teach us about culture in their own ways.

I choose a few major themes that may be related to the narrative “Never Marry a Mexican.” One of the most important ideas is self-love. Another important idea is to not follow in the footsteps of others. Finally, she was broken on the inside but didn’t show it. My thesis statement is: think carefully before you act since what you pick will determine what happens next. Clemencia, the protagonist, did not love herself for who she was. Because she’s a Mexican American, she lives between two different cultures. She feels as if she doesn’t belong in any social group.

This can be applied to the tale “Never Marry a Mexican” in a number of ways. “That guy she met at work, Owen Lambert the foreman at the photo-finishing plant who she was seeing while my father was sick” (73), is an example from the narrative, as stated by the protagonist Clemencia. Her mother plays a crucial role in her life due to her mother’s adultery when her father was bedridden and ill.

This was Clemencias’ example as a youngster that having an affair is acceptable. After years had passed, Clemencia and Drew, the guy she was cheating on him with, stopped seeing one another, and Clemencia slept with Drew’s son. She declared in the story “All I remember is that I was sleeping in your father’s bed when you were born; it’s possible I wanted to have an affair because my mother had one with a white man while he was sick” (76).

Essay 4

In “Never Marry a Mexican,” Sandra Cisneros explores the love life of Clemencia, a Mexican American woman. The narrator of the tale is in first person. Clemencia confesses that she wants to get married at the start of the narrative; however, she says that she has been having affairs with married men due to her parents’ divorce and broken marriage. She describes her parents’ background and their failed relationship.

Clemencia’s mother warns her that she should never marry a Mexican, so Clemencia only dates white men. During the final years of his life, her father is hospitalized in a hospital, and her mother begins seeing a white man, which leads to immorality for Clemencia. She falls in love with a married white guy called Drew when she is 19 years old. Clemencia works as both an interpreter and substitute teacher. Drew’s spouse gives birth to a boy during their affair.

Clemencia also leaves gummy bears where only Drew’s wife would notice in an attempt to inform the wife of their affair; she has no remorse for their relationship and works hard to break them up. She begins her seduction of Drew ‘s son years later, after her efforts to break up his father’s marriage have failed. Clemencia wants him to love her as much as she loved his father.

“I believe too much in marriage that I don’t,” says Clemencia as she tells her story and thoughts (52). The use of narration allows the readers to feel as though they are watching these events alongside her, “I recall the doctor scraping the phlegm out… I wanted to scream, Stop, you stop that. He’s my father,” (57). Furthermore, the audience is able to understand why Clemencia acted as she did. “My mother forced me to do this” (52) . According to Clemencia’s mother words: “Never marry a Mexican” (51) .

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