Translation, Migration, & Gender in the Americas, the Transatlantic, & the Transpacific
5-8 Jul 2017 Bordeaux (France)

Participants > Panelists > Tawiah-Boateng John

Transborder and Woman-Centered Progression From Sandra Cisneros' ‘Woman Hollering Creek' To ‘Never Marry A Mexican'
John Tawiah-Boateng  1  
1 : Augustana College

More than her famed literary patchwork in The House on Mango Street, this paper argues that Sandra Cisneros has achieved exceptional progression through the lives and actions of her female protagonists from “Woman Hollering Creek” to “Never Marry A Mexican.” While Cleofilas Hernandez in “Woman Hollering Creek” endures spousal abuse and sociocultural alienation after her marriage and movement from Mexico to Texas, before being eventually rescued by a duo of health care providers in a show of female solidarity, Clemencia, in “Never Marry a Mexican,” turns the tables on her white, male, privileged American paramour. The trenchant sardonism of Cisneros' staccato prose-poetic narrative and the judicious transposition of the English-and-Spanish mélange, work to simultaneously embody authenticity and to win the reader's empathy for the women and children characters, while repudiating the revolting racialized male dominance. This presentation confronts the problematics of, on the one hand, the positivist movement from an ostensibly helpless woman to an independent and power-wielding one; and, on the other hand, the danger of overstepping from a quest for equality and justice to substituting a novel tyranny, including the specter of woman-on-woman vindictiveness. The overarching import, nonetheless, is the clear emergence of Cisneros' female heroines in these stories from extant or latent victimhood toward empowered autonomy and self-determination.

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