In “There was a Man, There was a Woman,” Sandra Cisneros asserts that looks can be deceiving. Cisneros reminds us through the characters in the short story that people may seem like they are happy, but struggle to display their emotions. In the narrative, there is a man and a woman who spend their Friday nights drinking at a friendly sports bar to drink and have fun with their friends. Although they both go to the same bar and are oblivious to each other, their nights happen at different times of the week. Both of these characters display happy emotions when they are in front of their friends. However, as soon as they go home and away from society, they show feelings of desertion and melancholy crying to the one thing that unites them, the moon. “At home when the night came down and the moon appeared, the woman raised her pale eyes to the moon and cried. The man in his bed contemplated the same moon…looked and swallowed” (Cisneros). Often people are good at pretending that everything is fine when its not, hiding their feelings of being alone and somber, eventually leading to depression and possible suicide. Thus, the man and woman suffer from depression, which causes them to feel alone.
According to “The Health Consequences of Loneliness,” Kendra Cherry suggests that loneliness is a state of mind. Everything people feel comes from the mental state of the person. Furthermore, it’s the idea of feeling isolated even though there are people surrounding those individuals who feel sole. “Loneliness causes people to feel empty, alone, and unwanted. People who are lonely often crave human contact, but their state of mind makes it more difficult to form connection with other people”(Cherry). In her article, Cherry maintains that people feel lonely because they find it hard to fit in due to a low self teem. Just like the man and the woman in Cisneros’ short story. Even though friends surround them, they still feel lonely at the end of their day. If fate would have brought them together, both of these characters wouldn’t have to feel so alone anymore because now they would have had something to share, their mutual feelings at being alone in society (Cisneros). Like how most teens during high school, young adults in college, and adults in the work place try to find their identity, their purpose while being surrounded by their peers but yet they feel all alone. Most of us at one point have felt alone in this world and it isn’t until we meet someone with the same situation, the same struggles, that help us understand what feeling alone means. It gives us a better perspective in life that we aren’t alone in what we feel; someone else out there is feeling the exact same thing somewhere else. As adults grow older, they sometimes don’t want to seek help; they want to be able to confront loneliness by themselves and that can back fire. If adults give into solitude, they will fall in a path of depression that could also cost them their life.
Depression is a mood disorder in the state of mind of a person. It affects how a person functions in a day-to-day life. Also, it affects people surrounding them. A person with depression however, may not show signs at first. It varies from person to person. In the article “Depression Basics,” The National Institute of Mental Health reports that “sadness is only one small part of depression and some people with depression may not feel sadness at all” (Depression Basics). They also report the different types of depression that a person can have. The most common ones are major depression and persistent depression disorder. Major depression is when a person has trouble enjoying life, has trouble sleeping and eating. It usually last everyday for at least two weeks. Persistent depression is when a person suffers from depression for at least two years. They sometimes have major depression episodes with other symptoms but not as severe. Furthermore, the woman and man from “There was a Man, There was a Woman,” display symptoms of major depression once they are home and alone expressing feelings of constant sadness and emptiness. They feel hopeless and pessimistic on the way life is presented to them. A perfect example is exhibited in a one-minute video created by As/Is titled, “Depression Isn’t Always Obvious.” The video depicts a male in his late thirties, possibly early forties, waking up from his bed on a routine that consists of waking, brushing his teeth, getting stuck in traffic on his way to work, and during work being told “good morning” by his fellow co-worker, who seems like he is in a great mood all the time. He eventually ends his day back at his home, alone and sad. The next day, his routine starts all over again in the same order, some things he changes, but his co-worker, Ricky, remains the only person to greet him cheerfully every morning with a smile. Eventually, one morning, the guy going to work is sitting in his office with no Ricky to greet him and another co-worker approaches him and tells him that Ricky committed suicide (As/Is). In comparison to the man and woman of the short story, they both present themselves to their friends as happy when they are drinking at the bar having a good time. To their friends, they show that nothing is wrong with them. It is just another Friday night drinking and having a good time. But, their friends don’t know what they are feeling deep inside. They don’t know that they go home feeling alone and sad. They don’t know that they don’t feel like they fit in. So how can the man and woman get help? Well, one thing that will help them is if they meet each other. They would realize that they aren’t alone and they would have each other for moral support. Also, their friends could become more aware of the situation and offer help, even if all they need is a shoulder to cry on. One thing is for certain; people should never ignore another person whose depression gets so bad that they want to commit suicide. They should be reported to a loved one so that they can provide them with the help they need.
People like to pretend that they are fine when everything is not. Some are too
prideful or embarrassed to ask for help. Everyday there are people who feel sad
and end up isolating themselves because of fear of not fitting in. However,
people don’t have to feel alone. They don’t have to cry to the moon and night
because they don’t have anyone else to express their feelings to. There are
others who are experiencing the same thing. Like the man and woman, they help
others realize that no one is ever alone. Everything is in the state of mind of
the person and anyone can get the help needed should it lead to depression.
Cisneros, Sandra. “There Was a Man, There Was a Woman.” Woman Hollering Creek: And Other Short Stories. E-book, Vintage 1991
Cherry, Kendra. “The Health Consequences of Loneliness.” Verywell Mind, Verywell Mind, 8 Aug. 2019, https://www.verywellmind.com/loneliness-causes-effects-and-treatments-2795749.
“Depression Basics.” National Institute of Mental Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/depression/index.shtml.
“Depression Isn’t Always Obvious.” YouTube, uploaded by As/Is, 27 January 2016, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Yq6W7YAHM4&feature=youtu.be.