ERIC Number: ED390049
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Jan-26
Reference Count: N/A
Battling Machismo in the Poetry and Prose of Sandra Cisneros.
Breshears, Russell D.
Sandra Cisneros is giving a voice to farm workers, migrant workers, and Latinos living in the inner cities across the United States in poems and short stories that call attention to gender, class, and race issues that many would prefer to ignore. While her women protagonists challenge destructive "machismo," which takes the form of spousal abuse, child abuse, and infidelity, Cisneros battles the machismo of an Anglo literary establishment that has more followers of Harold Bloom's cultural chauvinism than is generally acknowledged. While Bloom would insist literature should have no higher function than to create an aesthetic, Cisneros dares to believe that literature can help change the world, can call attention to the plight of the poor, and can even take on machismo. Her voice can help to empower minority students in the classroom. In Cisneros' most recent fiction "Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories," the title story presents a battered wife and mother who dares to escape torment with the help of Felice, a female liberator in a pickup truck. The story offers a refreshing illustration of the independent woman doing well in a macho man's world. In one of Cisneros' books of poetry, "My Wicked Wicked Ways," there is melancholy and nostalgia about lost lovers. Confronting machismo is only one of her battles. According to Cisneros, Chicana writers are "the illegal aliens of American lit[erature]." But she and other writers of her generation are working to change all that. (TB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Cisneros (Sandra); Latinas; Latinos; Machismo
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Comparative Literature Symposium (28th, Lubbock, TX, January 26-27, 1995).