BordersWoman Hollering Creek is a vehicle in which Sandra Cisneros exhibits the struggles of Mexicans and Mexican-Americans of all ages. The stories “Mericans,” “Woman Hollering Creek, and “One Holy Night,” are all examples of how Cisneros outlines the difficulties that women and children endure in their lives and how they extend to future generations. ThroughoutWoman Hollering Creek, Sandra Cisneros demonstrates the challenges of cultural, gender-specific, and literal borders that Mexican-Americans have to overcome in their lives. Cisneros demonstrates the challenges of cultural borders clearly in the story, “Mericans.” The children that are at church with their “awful” grandmother seem to dislike her because of herstrict traditions and the fact that they do not know her well since she is from Mexico and they arefrom the United States. The children and the grandmother have somewhat of a language barrier because although they understand Spanish, it is clearly not their dominant language. “Micaela, you may wait outside with Alfredo and Enrique. The awful grandmother says it all in Spanish, which I understand when I’m paying attention” (Cisneros 19). This language barrier contributes to the cultural borders that the children experience because although they are Mexican, they are also American and seem to identify with the latter. ”The borderlands' theme appears when the family pays a visit to Mexico to the grandparents … We're "Mericans" says the girl's little brother, an inadvertent combination of Mexican and American, reflecting the children's hybrid status” (Payant). Although the children are of both nationalities it is difficult for them to fit in anywhere because when in the United States individuals view them as Mexicans but while in Mexico, they are viewed as Americans. The Mexican-American border is a symbol for the fencethat they are stuck in between because while the children identify themselves as one thing, society identifies them as the other.
Gender-Specific borders are present in “Mericans,” because the main character, Micaela, is treated as an inferior by her brothers simply because she is a girl. “There are some suggestionsof gender restrictions in these early pieces: for example, the brothers' cry 'Girl. We can't play with a girl,' her ‘brothers' favorite insult now’” (Payant). Her brothers insult her and only allow her to play as certain characters when they do play together.
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- Spring '16
- Mexican American, Border, Woman Hollering Creek