You have, perhaps, never heard a discussion on symposium on the topic, “Men-their role in the society! ” The discussion is always about the role of women. Men perhaps have no role! Men as well can perform some of the roles normally done by women. For example, the best chefs are men! The never-ending glib platitudes regarding giving equal rights to women go on unabated. All the Acts of Parliaments in the world and the UN Charters will not be able to bring equality to women. The change has to be brought from within-both men and women!
How can one give equal rights to women when God has created her, given her the status of more-equal. It is the mother who gives the exclusive and affectionate protection for the initial nine months to the divine creative force of the future– male or female! Sandra Cisneros is eminently suited to write on topics related to women. She is the only sister of six brothers. She was born in Chicago in 1954. Her parents hopped between Mexico City and Chicago. She has excellent academic credentials backed up with the teaching experience. She has been a minority student counselor at Loyola.
Some of her stories express the tender thoughts and reflections of a young, adolescent girl related to her three main concerns in that age, growing up, family and friendship. Titles of the story like, “Never Marry a Mexican,” create a telling effect even before one begins to read them, and kindle instant curiosity. When you are obsessed with a particular issue, repetition of some of the points can not be avoided. This happens with Sandra in her stories. When you read a particular story, you feel that the character you are reading is represented elsewhere.
Same is the case with the dramatic effects that she portrays in her stories as also the imagery. Some stories are for women and their voice is more mature. You find tough option on subjects but they are the realities of life of a woman. The subject matter of such stories is sexual relationships, domestic violence and domestic abuses. It is reasonable to assume who would be at the receiving end-the woman! Mention and review of her each story is not feasible in this short essay, but one of the stories is worth the special mention. It is “Eleven”-a small girl on the threshold of her eleventh birthday.
It shows how a child is compelled to think in terms of the dictating, authoritative adult. The psyche of the child, the latent respect for the elders born out of fear has been described in a poignant manner. How incomplete is her happiness! Where is equality for women? Sandra is unable to perceive it in her stories and she is right. She narrates the realities of life, about those who are oppressed (sometimes both men and women), victimized women, the plight of the double minorities, issues related to identity crisis, and most prominently the prevalent gender bias.
The issues of Class stratification and patriarchal violence also directly affect women. Her soft corner for her women characters is clearly experienced by the reader as one reads through the myriad narrations. Women are oppressed and victimized; –she has no doubts about it. She uses the simple voices of her women characters with telling effect and tackles the complex issues of her life at different stages of her growth effortlessly. The stories concern the Latina experience in mature and thoughtful ways. Such elaborations and explanations are sometimes explicit.
The voices of the characters in the stories relate to common borders of U. S. and Mexico. They are short stories told through Latina voices on both sides of the U. S. – Mexico border. The underlying importance of the colorful picture of life on the Mexico/Texas border is evident in the stories. The concepts of joint family full of aunts, cousins, grandparents and uncles create joyous scenes of the social life. But the flagship character of the stories mostly is the young girl up to the adventurous dream of life. She feels suffocated in the small-town life as she has big dreams.
Humor is the asset of Sandra’s writings and her involvement in the character she creates is deep and the description is authentic. Here is an example, the impact of the cultural influence: “Woman Hollering Creek, by Sandra Cisneros, begins with Don Serafin giving Juan Pedro Martinez Sanchez permission to marry his only daughter, Cleofilas. Juan Pedro plans to take Cleofilas to live in the United States. .. As Cleofilas is getting ready to leave, Don reminds his daughter that he is her father and he will never abandon her.
He then hugs her, but she is too busy looking for her maid of honor to pay attention to him. It is not until Cleofilas is a parent herself that she remembers her father’s words. She thinks about how love between a man and a woman is not always constant, but a parent’s love for a child lasts forever. Cleofilas thinks about this especially on night when Juan Pedro doesn’t come home. ” (Books R4…) She makes you think with the portrayal of her characters. Her approach is not the blame-game between men and women.
She is not afraid to take to task the male gender for having caused intense mental suffering to the female gender on one pretext or the other. As for love and passion, how men and women are different is intelligently portrayed by Sandra. Her character Cleofilas longs for pure love, as pure as the crystal, which she must have read in the idealism of romantic literature. She is prepared for any sacrifice for the sake of love. But her abusive husband devoid of sensibilities takes it as her weakness. She had once decided that she would strike back at any man who would strike her.
But when Juan Pedro first hits her, she was taken aback, that this should happen to her…, “she had been so stunned, it left her speechless, motionless, and numb. “
References: Sandra Cisneros: Book: Woman Hollering Creek: And Other Stories Paperback: 192 pages Publisher: Vintage; 1st Vintage Contemporaries Ed edition (March 3, 1992) Language: English ISBN-10: 0679738568 Article: Books R4 Teens – Book Review – Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories www. edb. utexas. edu/resources/booksR4teens/book_reviews/book_reviews. php? book_id=129 – 26k – Cached – Retrieved on May 28, 2008 =