Sandra Cisneros fragments a bold and honest character by the name of Clemencia in her short story, Never Marry a Mexican. The story begins with the narrator, Clemencia, giving the reader an insight of her family. She entails how her father is a generous Mexican born man that comes from means, he is ostentatious and enjoys the finer things in life but his heart is filled with gold as he would feed those in need without hesitation. In contrast, her mother is descendant from Mexico but born in the U.S., she is intimidated by her husband’s cultured persona and coped with it by ensuing resentment towards him – later leading to infidelity. Clemencia makes note of how distinct Mexicans born from el otro lado are and also highlights how her mother instilled the ideology that Mexicans (Latinos) are subpar. She moves on to note her involvement in several infidelities, however Clemencia lingers on the affair that provoked stronger sentiments within her. She starts describing the power that the adultery with Drew granted her, he transformed her into a goddess, Malinalli. He emboldened her brown skin, her braided hair became a harness. Cleamencia moves on to disclose that although she once had illusions that they could become a white picket fence family, she released that hope when Drew returned to his wife Megan. Clemencia describes Megan as a red headed Barbie doll in a fur coat, Megan arose insecurities within Clemencia. Clemecnia continues her spat by revealing that she has now moved on to someone who –in part- owes her his life, Drew’s son. She draws parallels between him and her old lover, highlights the traces of Megan within him and recognizes that she (Clemencia) is like his mother. She drives him to feel the intensity, the nurture and foolish romanticism Clemencia once felt for his father. She narrator reflects on herself and concludes that “humanity strikes her as lovely”, she wants to nurture and comfort them.
The most striking echo of the short story was her need to feel self-worth and self-love though her lover Drew. He highlighted her district and socially unorthodox features such as her brown skin and fostered the beauty in it. Throughout the story line she keeps the thought: “never marry a Mexican” alive. However, that also applies to her. Clemencia is reminded of that once Drew ends the affair to be with his wife Megan, her opposite. She highlights Megan’s elegance and even comments that she cannot feel sympathy for her since she can’t relate to her. They are not the same. Although the narrator fights for her self-worth through the affair with a non-latinx, she also recognizes that she does not see other Latinos in the same light. She didn’t recognize them as men, much less see them as lovers. That created the basis of the ideology she grew up in, she considers her people unworthy but fails to see herself within the group. That develops Clemencia’s need for validation through the eyes of other non-latinx people, since she was taught that their insight is unwarranted. Even so, she holds resentment for Megan because she’s our social construct of what is deemed beautiful, her opinion matters and she is desirable. Clemencia tries to overcast the self-hate by participating in various affairs and disregarding the concept of love that she once hoped for because she feels no one is capable of returning the love she has loved.
Essentially, Clemencia is looking for the love, acceptance and nurture that she didn’t have from her mother. Although she loved her father, she cannot be with a person like him because he was foolish and didn’t identify his wife’s dissatisfaction. She fundamentally accepted her mother’s words: never marry a Mexican wholeheartedly.