Sandra Cisneros Analysis

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“I was silent as a child, and silenced as a young woman; I am taking my lumps and bumps for being a big mouth, now, but usually from those whose opinion I don 't respect.” - Sandra Cisneros (
Sandra Cisneros, famous author of works such as The House on Mango Street (1989), was born in Chicago in 1954, to a Mexican father and Chicana (Mexican-American) mother (Encyclopedia of Hispanic-American Literature, “Sandra Cisneros”). Cisneros was the last child of seven children and the only female of the children, to which she states made for a very alienated childhood (Erickson, “Sandra Cisneros: Biography) which she made up for by writing in a spiral notebook which only her mother could
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Cisneros is known for her rejection of “patriarchy in favor of more provisional, personal, emotional, and intuitive forms of narrative” a central theme that can easily be identified in most of her works, especially her poetry which are much more autobiographical than her fictional prose writing (Madson, “Sandra Cisneros”). In her poem Loose Woman, Sandra Cisneros cleverly plays with enumeration and sensory imagery to confront the criticism she faces as an independent woman. The speaker, likely Cisneros herself, opens the poem with “They say I’m a beast.” The word “beast” could be interpreted in multiple ways: because she is a woman standing up and speaking out for herself she is seen as a beast, different and frightening, or because she is of Mexican descent, her ideals of what a woman is or should be are different than those portrayed in Caucasian society. The poem also uses words strongly associated in Mexican culture as well as words in Spanish, something Cisneros does when “unable to find an acceptable translation” (“Sandra Cisneros Poetry: American Poets Analysis). The play on words such as “witch” - which can be traced to Mexican folk legends “La llorona” a witch who lives by a river by herself, crying for the loss of her children, and the strong belief in “brujería” or witchcraft – and “macha” which means a female who acts like a man, notions that Cisneros’ …show more content…
First the speaker herself is called “a macha” or a woman that acts like a man. Then she continues to list the various names such as “hell on wheels, viva-la-vulva, fire and brimstone, man-hating, devastating, boogey-woman lesbian.” This clearly shows the power and high self-esteem Cisneros carries as she is not intimidated nor ashamed to speak of the insults, furthermore, utilizing the insults to convert them into power to boost herself shown in the proceeding line “…I like the compliment.” Cisneros then uses sensory language to describe who she is as a woman, embracing the names given to her by society. She describes society as a mob who “arrives with stones and sticks/ to maim and lame and do [her] in,” but when she opens her mouth, “they wobble like gin.” demonstarting that the aggressive mob, ready to dismantle her emotionally, is no match for her, the beast. The act of opening her mouth could be a direct reference to being called a beast or it could be a reference to her poetry which evokes fear and disdain because of its controversial content. The word “gin” evokes the strong liquor used for recreational purposes which contains almost 50% alcohol clearly conveys the strength the narrator holds over the insubstantial limitations and words society places upon

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