English 101- Freshman Composition
09 October 2019
Within the “Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories” written by Sandra Cisneros, there was the story of “Never Marry a Mexican,” this story showcases many traits of love, lust, disloyalty and a majority of these emotions are portrayed through the actions of Clemencia. Clemencia’s character in “Never Marry a Mexican” was easily frowned upon because of her lustful desires in which she blamed herself for being “too romantic for love.” Now although general opinions on one’s loving capabilities and meaning behind the word love may differ, she is a girl who was showing affection in the only way she had ever been shown to express herself in sexual relation to men. Sure, many people may look at Clemencia and think she is foul but how would you know how to love if you were never properly taught?
Clemencia had one lesson taught to her on love and it was that she should “never marry a Mexican.” It sounds like an odd suggestion but when you have a mother teaching you to never marry a man like she did (Clemencia’s father) it is easy to see where the errors were in her perception of what love is. With her father being a natural-born Mexican, born and raised traditionally in Mexico, it was most likely traumatizing to watch her mother be disloyal to her father. As a child, we grow and learn by imitating the actions of elders, especially our parents, it was only presumable to say that Clemencia would not be endorsing good relationships when it came to her future due to her mother’s ways. On top of not only being taught to look for the wrong things within her affairs, but Clemencia had also been close with her father despite her mother’s ruling on never marrying a Mexican. She took a hard hit internally when she watched as her mother took her mistress man’s hand in marriage and endorsed his children. She began to lose focus on the point of love and marriage and continued on in her mother’s footsteps as she soon ruined another marriage herself. Studies have been conducted on individuals who in real life suffer due to situations similar to Clemencia. “One implication of epigenetic inheritance systems is that they provide a potential mechanism by which parents could transfer information to their offspring about the environment that they experienced, and under certain environmental regimes, such information transfer can, in theory, be adaptive.” (Rando) This analogy shows that not only do children have a poor perception of their parent’s/other relations, they also have an increased possibility of mimicking the wrong actions in their later years.
Although her mother may have set a terrible example of marriage and loyalty it was not her mother who told her to have an affair with Drew, also her teacher, she chose that path on her own. Drew himself had been married to a woman named Megan as he approached and preyed on Clemencia’s weak-guarded heart and sexuality. In one scene from the story, Clemencia had been in bed with Drew as his wife, Megan, was in the delivery room giving birth to her child whom she shared with Drew. This resembled the same pain Clemencia had felt when her mother left her father while he was sick in the hospital except now Clemencia was not the one endorsing the pain, she was apart of the output of it. She had been emotionally inflicting pain on to Megan with the use of Megan’s husband and although she admitted to enjoying how it felt to know she was causing pain on other women, the pain was not all on her. Drew continued to pursue Clemencia and eventually split apart from his wife with their child under his care. I do not agree with the way the met and went about their relations with one another but I can understand why she may be provoked to respond in the way she does, but there is no excuse to the married man with a newborn, born without his father in the delivery room.
Anyone is capable of seeing the faults in both characters, they’ve both proven themselves to be incapable of loyalty however, Clemencia knew no better. She loved as a woman the way she was taught by her mother, it could’ve been altered if she felt she was more an individual than she did. Yet, Drew has no excuse for his actions other than losing emotions for his wife and enjoying the thrill of the chase on a mistress. Drew, as a professor and father, had been more at fault in the story than even Clemencia herself. Only one person can decide the damage and with Drew being the one with two separate relations, it seems fair to conclude that none of it could’ve happened or none of it would’ve been frowned upon if he would’ve simply talked to his wife about separation prior hand to his affair.
In the world around us there is cheating, mistrust, and disloyalty filling the air and what occurred between these characters is not outside our “norm.” Situations like this are in our books, films, and real life but no matter who is involved it can never be seen in black and white. There is a right, there is a wrong and there is always prevention to emotional damage yet people like Drew seem to learn that after. In our world, there are people like Clemencia, people who struggle to know what love should be and how it should be shown. Men and women raised in homes with divorced/disloyal parents are shown poor examples of what they should expect for their future relations and do suffer later. So whether to be Clemencia or Drew, right or wrong, you’re best guarantee is to know what you want and love yourself first.
Rando, Oliver J. “Daddy Issues: Paternal Effects on Phenotype”
9 Nov. 2012.
Cisneros, Sandra “The Woman Hollering Creek”