Caramelo sandra cisneros essay

"Uncle Fat-Face's brand-new used white Cadillac, Uncle Baby's green Impala, Father's red Chevrolet station wagon" the parade of cars that ushers in Cisneros's first novel since The House on Mango Street (1984) is headed to Mexico City from Chicago, bearing three Mexican-American families on their yearly visit to Awful Grandmother and Little Grandfather. Celaya or "Lala," the youngest child of seven and the only daughter of Inocencio and Zoila Reyes, charts the family's movements back and forth across the border and through time in this sprawling, kaleidoscopic, Spanish-laced tale. The sensitive and observant Lala feels lost in the noisy shuffle, but she inherits the family stories from her grandmother, who comes from a clan of shawl makers and throughout her life has kept her mother's unfinished striped shawl, or caramelo rebozo, containing all the heartache and joy of her family. When she, and later Lala, wear the rebozo and suck on the fringes, they are reminded of where they come from, and those who came before them. In cramped and ever-changing apartments and houses, the teenaged Lala seeks time and space for self-exploration, finally coming to an understanding of herself through the prism of her grandmother. Cisneros was also the only girl in a family of seven, and this is clearly an autobiographical work. Its testaments to cross-generational trauma and rapture grow repetitive, but Cisneros's irrepressible enthusiasm, inspired riffs on any number of subjects (tortillas, telenovelas, La-Z-Boys, Woolworth's), hilarious accounts of family gatherings and pitch-perfect bilingual dialogue make this a landmark work.
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Cisneros's achievement in this novel is to build that house in language. It's initially rather disconcerting that much of her book is in Spanish, but in fact it's usually at least half-translated, the rest easily understood through context. Her English carries the rhythms of both languages functioning together, one changing the other ("I have sleepy," Celaya tells her doting father), evoking the rag-tag syncopation of bilingual, bicultural thought, becoming a third, more accurate thing. Her writing is incredibly vivid, an urgent pile-up of images constructing a foreign reality and simultaneously making it familiar. The "bone of a mango with wisps of golden hair" lies in a gutter; mountains are "a green-green-green that makes you want to cry. Everything smells like silver. As if it just rained. As if it wanted to." Cisneros makes a speciality of portraying inchoate emotion as physical ("when I breathe, my heart hurts"). And always, veined through everything, "gathering where it always gathered, first in the tip of the nose, and then in the eyes and throat", a sadness, a knowledge of something lost, of people pushed to the sides of their own lives and of how, fighting marginalisation, they only hurt those they love.

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Each summer, Celaya and her family return to her grandmother's home in Mexico City. At the house, Celaya meets Candelaria, the maid's daughter, who she secretly admires for her beauty. Here we also meet other members of her family, including the Awful Grandmother, Aunty Light-Skin, and the Little Grandfather. We learn about their stories. For example, the Little Grandfather lived in Chicago for a time and was injured during the Mexican Civil War. Aunty Light-Skin had an affair with an unnamed movie star. Through it all, the ties between families are bound together by the silken rebozo. The rebozo is central to the story, as it represents the dysfunctional and interconnected relationships.

Caramelo sandra cisneros essay

caramelo sandra cisneros essay

Each summer, Celaya and her family return to her grandmother's home in Mexico City. At the house, Celaya meets Candelaria, the maid's daughter, who she secretly admires for her beauty. Here we also meet other members of her family, including the Awful Grandmother, Aunty Light-Skin, and the Little Grandfather. We learn about their stories. For example, the Little Grandfather lived in Chicago for a time and was injured during the Mexican Civil War. Aunty Light-Skin had an affair with an unnamed movie star. Through it all, the ties between families are bound together by the silken rebozo. The rebozo is central to the story, as it represents the dysfunctional and interconnected relationships.

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