Many artists use their personal lives and experiences they face in order to draw inspiration as well as create art that can only come from within. In the story Never marry a mexican it follows the character Clemencia a young student who falls in love with her teacher who is married yet it leads to a darker turn. When she starts to feel the power she has from within herself to control different aspects in his life and soon starts to obsess over this new found energy. However to the people who have analyzed this character all seem to have the same answer as to why it may be that Clemencia is the way she is. Yet it is never brought up how the author herself can have a direct tie in with the character development placing some of her personal life experiences that are escalated into a dark creative art piece. In this we explain how Sandra Cisneros creative ability to develop this character by not only adding in her our life but in helping us understand the bigger picture of real life problems that are presented in a beautiful piece of art.
In order to truly understand why Clemencia is the way she is we have to look at the author herself to get a full understanding of why she made this character the way she is. Besides just an author Cisneros dabbles in many different forms of work from poetry, activism, and painting. These play an important part as certain aspects of her life leak into her stories and Clemencia herself. One example of this is from a section of the book in which the author says “I admit, there was a time when all I wanted was to belong to a man. To wear that gold band on my left hand and be worn on his arm like an expensive jewel brilliant in the light of day.” (Cisneros51). This plays a very crucial role due to the fact the in real life Sandra is not married nor does she have any romantic relationships and appears she would rather be alone. With that being said Sandra may not want a relationship in real life just as the character does not as well in the story but she turns it into a more interesting read by making it so that Clemica is an over exaggerated version of herself. This opening scene is just one of the many that Cisneros continues to show this fantasy version of herself.
Now in the story the author could have chosen any occupation for the young Clemencia to be but she plays out the character to be a substitute teacher who has a strong passion for art. In one scene she talks about how she loves to paint day and night as well as considers the jobs to be compared to prositutuion. She also mentions in that sense that rich people love her creativity and buy their artwork at her exhibitions. It even states in one article that “Now, the coming-of-age novel – an important contribution to Chicana feminist literature – has also inspired an art exhibit at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque”.(Gonzalez, Carolina Dalia,remeclza.com) . To further help you understand this it’s almost as Sandra is giving us the more relatable things about herself before driving into the more darker and fictional side side of her. Furthermore Clemencia goes on to talk about buying an apartment with her sister as well as it states in the book that “I’m a person who doesn’t belong to any class”.(cisneros55) . As I said prior the author is very well known author and is also recognized for her arts. This shows a direct simile to the character clemencia she’s not rich nor poor which in my interpetions means that both the author and the character both share traits of being an artist as well as living very simple kickback life styles . To further back up this claim it also good to note that Cisneros has the funds to be able to live a very fancy lifestyle but just like the book she decides not to and would rather spend her time in her house in mexico.(“Sandra Cisneros.” Sandra Cisneros, http://www.sandracisneros.com/0.)
With her involvement in activities sandra is also known to be a femminist which means she believes in equal rights for women so that men and women are on the same level. Thought the stories in her book they all seem to start with a very young girl being taken advantage of or treated horribly by the men in their lives. Now relating back to the story Clemencia appears to have power over Drew and her ability to make him do whatever she feels free too. This could have a big connection to Cisneros personal live in which in her real life she feels women are still dominated in a mans world and the story is her own way of expressing that anger. In order to drive the nail in the coffin there is a statistic of women’s labor force in 2024 for hispanc women and it states that in 2024 there will only be 8.4 percent of hispacinc women in the labor force.(U.S Department of Labor.gov). With shocking statistics like that we could see why she would use her stories as a way to vent and get the challenging frustration of the problems women face on a daily basis. Through Clemica she is able to fantasize aspects of the women dominating the man’s life and even in the process destroying other women’s lives. They say art is a replication of life in which we like to use our personal lives and experiences to create art that’s different than another. That’s what makes art so beautiful everyone has a different interpretation on it and brings people together to further discuss it. Now the majority of people will say that it’s just a fictional story and it’s just the author’s way of entertaining the people while telling the truth. While yes I do believe to some extent it does have some entertainment aspect but more so of the author telling us her experience through means of creative storytelling and eventually coming to a life lesson. Regardless artists have inspiration and to me there is always some truth in all fiction.
- “U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.” Women of Working Age, Data and Stats, Women’s Bureau, U.S. Department of Labor, http://www.dol.gov/wb/stats/NEWSTATS/latest/demographics.htm#EduLF.
- Gonzalez, Carolina Dalia. “Sandra Cisneros’ Classic Chicana Novel ‘The House on Mango Street’ Inspired This Art Exhibit.” Remezcla, remezcla.com/lists/culture/sandra-cisneros-the-house-on-mango-street-exhibit/.
- Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories. Paw Prints, 2008.
- “Sandra Cisneros.” Sandra Cisneros, http://www.sandracisneros.com/.