Never Marry a Mexican
This is a story written by Sandra Cisneros in her book Woman Hollering creek and other stories. The protagonist of the story is Clemencia tells the story of her life. She talks about her parent’s failed marriage that led her to a life of promiscuity. However, she falls in love with Drew a married man, and after he rejects her, she plots revenge by seducing the son. After the son falls in love with her, she makes her intentions known and in the process, the son ends up paying for his father’s wrong doings.
The story is in first person narration where the main character is telling the story. Using this style of narration, the narrator makes the audience feel as if they are with Clemencia during her whole life. She gives them an opportunity to go through what she is going through throughout her whole life. The audience gets a chance to experience the hurt and betrayal Clemencia felt when Drew went back to his pregnant wife. In addition, how this whole incidence made Clemencia made her insecure.
The narrative style helps define the characters in the story. How do they relate to one another? For instance, Clemencia’s mother is immoral. Her infidelity as her father was sick tinted the narrator’s idea of what it intended to be in a realistic and compassionate relationship. Clemencia is defined as promiscuous as she uses her body in an effort to gain recognition and acceptance from Drew her lover. However, in doing so, she finds herself objectified and coerced by Drew, two issues that describe Clemencia’s character in the book. She is also depicted as vengeful in her quest for revenge.
The first person narration helps to convey meaning through bringing out the themes in the story. Themes such as hypocrisy, poverty and racism, are brought out by the narrator’s mother as she dissuades them from marrying Mexicans yet she is Mexican herself and is married to one. “Never marry a Mexican, my ma said once and always. She said this because of my father. But she was born here in the U. S. and he was born there, and it is not the same, you know.” (p. 109)
The narrative style has also been used to describe how she feels about the institution of marriage. She tells her lovers never to marry a Mexican including herself. This is evident where she says, “Besides, he could never marry me…Never marry a Mexican. Never marry a Mexican…No, of course not. I see. I see (109)”. She sabotages all her relationships by getting involved with married men meaning they will not amount to anything. Thus, she will never end up getting married. Throughout the whole story, Clemencia’s inner thoughts and feelings are expressed to the audience, and they are able to understand her better because of this narrative style.
The book shows how society views different individuals depending on their social status. It talks about morality and self-esteem, which the protagonist lacks. Clemencia goes through so many hurdles in her life that make her the person that she is a bitter and vengeful soul. She sleeps with Drew’s son just to hurt him as much as he hurt her. She turns to alcohol to numb some of the pain she feels inside, as she has no one to comfort her.
Cisneros, Sandra. “Never Marry A Mexican.” Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories. New York: Random House, 1991. 68-83. Print.
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