A Unique Chicana Lady
Sandra Cisneros is an American novelist, poet, short-story writer, and essayist. Cisneros is one of the first Hispanic-American writers who achieve worldwide success for her works. Cisneros is given credit by critics and literary scholar for bringing the life and hardships of Mexican-American women into the high-way of literary feminism.
In 1954, Sandra Cisneros was born in Chicago. Cisneros is the only girl of seven children and the third child born in the family. Cisneros’s parents was born in Mexico but later moved to the states. During her childhood, Cisneros would move quite often back and forth between Mexico and America (About). During these times, Cisneros felt lost because she often felt that she did not belong to either culture. Most of her writings were influence by her childhood memories and finding herself.
Furthermore, when Cisneros was twenty-two she studied at the University of Loyola in Chicago and received her bachelor’s degree in writing. Two years later Cisneros received her master’s in creative writing at the University of Iowa. After college, Cisneros worked as a counselor and taught high school drop outs in an alternative school (Biography). This time period marks an important turning point in her career as a writer.
Next, Sandra Cisneros often wrote short stories and poems while growing up, but what really inspired her work was when she became frustrated at the University of Iowa. This made Cisneros realize her experiences as a Latin American were different than what a normal American person experiences in their life. Cisneros wrote about conflicts that are related to her childhood and the hardships she endured. One hardship Sandra Cisneros grew up with was living in a poor neighborhood, while dreaming of a house that she can be proud of. One story Cisneros wrote about that resembles this hardship is The House on Mango Street. This short story is about a poor girl name Esperanza who dreams of a room of her own and a house that she can be proud. “Our house would be white with trees around it, a great big yard and grass growing without a fence. This was the house Papa talked about when he held a lottery ticket and this was the house Mama dreamed up in the stories she told us before we went to bed” (The House 4). Poverty is a big problem in most of the Latin American countries. A lot of people would want to come to America for the opportunities that America gives. They want to live the “American Dream,” where they can live a stable life without financial struggles.
Also, Cisneros would write about women and their role in the Latin-American culture. Usually, women in the Latin-American countries would grow up and take care of the house and children, while the men would have a job and be the provider of the family. Not a lot of women went to college and held a job. In Linoleum Roses, a short story by Cisneros is about the experiences of a girl name sally and her marriage with a guy that is a salesman. “She is happy, except sometimes her husband gets angry and once he broke the door where his foot went through, thought most days he is okay. Except he won’t let her talk on the telephone. And he doesn’t let her look out the window…” (Linoleum 101-102). In this story the girl is giving up her freedom for money and better life. Cisneros want to show how women struggle and become desperate in a time of need. Another story that follows a similar path is No Speak English. This short story is about a man that lives in America and his love for a lady who lives in a Latin-American country. The man works two jobs and saves enough money to bring her to him. When the lady arrives she does not come out of the man house. “Whatever her reasons, whether she is fat, or can’t climb the stairs or is afraid of English” (No Speak 77). The man and the spanish speaking woman cannot communicate well because the man does not speak spanish as well as she does. The couple gets into a big fight over language barrier between them. The woman breaks down in tears because this was the only road out to escape her country hardships. This story focuses more on the language barrier between two countries. This played a major factor in Cisneros life because in her childhood she would travel back and forth between American and Mexico.
Finally, a poet, a short-story writer and an essayist, Sandra Cisneros became one of the first Mexican-American to achieve worldwide success for her work. If Sandra Cisneros did not write about the life and hardships of Mexican-American women, then no one would be able to realize the hardships of a Mexican-American person endures through their life time.