In Sandra Cisneros story “Never Marry a Mexican” from the book Woman Hollering Creek and other stories the author explores the life of Clemencia from growing up in a broken home, to seeking out the son of a former lover. Having a difficult upbringing in which her mother preached the title of the story “Never marry a mexican” as well as finding out her mother was having an affair with another man while her father was on his deathbed. The neglect that soon followed after she married the same man she had cheated on her dad with as she says “When she married that white man, and he and his boys moved into my father’s house, it was as if she stopped being my mother. Like I never even had one”(Cisneros 140). Throughout the story Clemencia displays a vindictive nature with an odd sense of self awareness about her actions. Is she immoral or is she a sociopath ?
“I’m vindictive and cruel, and i’m capable of anything”(Cisneros 131). This quote from Clemencia shows her sociopathic thought patterns as well as diluted self image. Late in the story she jumps back to what was supposed to be the last time she would see Drew, She details meticulously going around the house leaving gummy bears in places only his wife would find. She talks about getting a strange satisfaction from doing. One piece in specific is significant in which Clemencia displays a complete lack of remorse in stealing one of the dolls and throwing it into the river explaining that it gave her a feeling like nothing before and since (Cisneros 157). It seems that as she has grown older she has become even more vicious in her ways describing the way she slept with Drew’s son as a predator attacking prey using metaphors calling him a stupid little bird and comforting him before she snaps her teeth on page (Cisneros 157). Her seduction is twisted in the sense she wants him to hunger for her in the same way she is drawn to his father. She questions why she sleeps with men while their wives are giving birth explaining she gets a “crazy joy” on killing women like that (Cisneros 147) Clemencia displays a clear disregard for people that contrast her culture showing acts of aggression with little to no remorse.
Although Clemencia does plenty of reprehensible acts she also has never had a good role model for how to act in relationships. Her mother’s disloyalty to her father as well as perceived cultural betrayal has affected her outlook on marriage and romance, in an analysis done by freelance writer and editor Taylor Lannamann he explains that her mom betrayed her father’s love and her culture by marrying a white man and while that holds true to what she preaches “ never marry a mexican” it gives her a paradox of values in which she chooses to condemn marriage as a whole. Clemencia displays a further disdain towards white people when she details sleeping with Drew saying “I was sleeping with your father and didn’t give a damn about that woman, your mother. If she was a brown woman like me, I might’ve had a harder time living with myself, but since she’s not, I don’t care”(Cisneros 146). Her immorality could very well be a product of a rough childhood, bad teachings and racial prejudice rather than sociopathic tendencies. She shows a longing for love and comfort but her diluted ideals on how romance should be prevents her from pursuing a legitimate relationship and has even stated that no man exists that hasn’t disappointed her giving her the predetermined notion that any possible marriage she could have would be living a lie. Having early exposure to a broken marriage between her parents as well as her early encounter as Drew’s mistress, Clemencia continued down a similar path of scandalous acts as she progressed through her life. Although many of those acts can be considered evil, they are acts that can be influenced by her racial paradox in which her mother taught her to “Never Marry a Mexican” even though she betrayed her Mexican husband with a white man. Clemencia was never shown to be exposed to a healthy relationship growing up, in turn giving her no real basis to have a successful romance.
The angry and seemingly remorseless Clemencia makes it very difficult to see her as anything other than a terrible person who finds joy in tainting relationships, however she has had minimal examples of positive relations growing up giving her a distorted view of what one should be. I do not believe she is a sociopath, and although she acts immorally despite an understanding of right and wrong she has justified her actions by way of attacking a specific race she has anger towards in turn relieving herself of the empathy. Going through traumatic events such as her mothers cheating on her father can do much to throw off the moral compass of a person. The power she feels over the victims of her actions gives her the ability to ensure she doesn’t get hurt because she does all the damage. In the end of the story as she’s older Clemencia acknowledges her own humanity when she states “ Sometimes all humanity strikes me as lovely. I just want reach out and stroke someone, and say There, there, it’s all right, honey. There, there, there (Cisneros 160). As sort of an acknowledgement of her actions and a longing for something more. Clemencia’s initial relations with Drew could of been the most impactful reason for how she conducts herself. He made empty promises to leave his wife so he could live with her, as well as flirted with her calling her his “doradita” while he was her professor(Cisneros 146). Meaning his golden sun baked girl. It was her first relations with him as well as the culmination of her rough upringing that influenced her acts going forward rather than sociopathic tendencies and ultimately she wanted to take the youth of Drew’s child just as he had done to her.
Cisneros. Sandra. “Never Marry a Mexican” Woman Hollering Creek and other Stories. First Vintage Contemporaries, 1992. iBook.
Lannamann, Taylor. “Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories Never Marry a Mexican.” LitCharts. LitCharts LLC, 25 Jan 2018. Web. 16 Jul 2018