Sunday, October 19, 2008

La Gritona

Much like Tomas Rivera, the many voices of Chicanas in this novel fuse together and become one voice which qualifies their existence. Unlike Rivera, it is a purely female voice.
A central issue in this novel is power struggle between men and women. To Cisneros, the chasm between the sexes is a deep one. There is little harmony. No man can be completely trusted; even grandfathers, fathers, have done their share to make mothers, wives, suffer.
But in bittersweet, poetic language Cisneros recognizes how much women can need men, and worship them, and how they can give all of themselves knowingly to someone who will hurt them, to watch them as they sleep and hold them after they've been hit. It's painfully beautiful and very real. Not always is the man abusive, weak, or cowardly, but he is never as strong as the woman. Cisneros' women love their men more than their men love them and they know it. They accept humbly that a woman's way of loving is much more vast and hurts so much more.
If you read the "About the Author" section, it says, "she is nobody's mother and nobody's wife". Like her characters, it seems Cisneros is portrayed as some sort of survivor, who in the end can only trust herself.
Underlying every story there is a recognition of woman's primal power..."You're nothing without me. I created you from spit and red dust"(75), says one of her characters to a man, emphasizing with imagery the power of creation that women hold above men.

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