Skip Nav

Sandra Cisneros

What is the meaning of Esperanza’s name?

❶Not only is stream of consciousness an horribly long label for such a short story, but it's also associated with some of modernism's most intimidating works: Esperanza describes her "sexual initiation"—an assault by a group of Anglo-American boys while awaiting her friend Sally at the fairground.

Navigation menu

Clear and Readable, Succinct, and Poetic.
by Sandra Cisneros
Follow by Email

I don't know why but all of a sudden I'm feeling sick inside, like the part of me that's three wants to come out of my eyes, only I squeeze them shut tight and bite down on my teeth real hard and try to remember today I am eleven, eleven. Mama is making a cake for me for tonight, and when Papa comes home everybody will sing Happy birthday, happy birthday to you. Cisneros' word choice and sentence structure both illustrate the stream of consciousness writing style.

The use of so many commas connects all the thoughts together. If the sentences were broken up with more periods, then they would read like distinct thoughts: But here, all the commas connect the thoughts of feeling sick, squeezing your eyes shut, biting down on your teeth, and remembering it's your birthday together into one jumbled thought-cluster. The rambling nature of this tone makes sense to us because our thoughts generally do come to us in frenzied clusters like this, especially during trying circumstances.

The New Mestiza , Cisneros wrote: So that the relatives and family would allow me the liberty to disappear into myself. To reinvent myself if I had to. As Latinas, we have to Because writing is like putting your head underwater. Cisneros's writing is often influenced by her personal experiences and by observations of many of the people in her community.

She once confided to other writers at a conference in Santa Fe that she writes down "snippets of dialogue or monologue—records of conversations she hears wherever she goes. Names for her characters often come from the San Antonio phone book; "she leafs through the listings for a last name, then repeats the process for a first name. Cisneros once found herself so immersed in the characters of her book Woman Hollering Creek that they began to infiltrate her subconscious mind.

Once while she was writing the story "Eyes of Zapata," she awoke "in the middle of the night, convinced for the moment that she was Ines, the young bride of the Mexican revolutionary. Her dream conversation with Zapata then became those characters' dialogue in her story. Her biculturalism and bilingualism are also very important aspects of her writing. Cisneros was quoted by Robin Ganz as saying that she is grateful to have "twice as many words to pick from Cisneros has been instrumental in building a strong community in San Antonio among other artists and writers through her work with the Macondo Foundation and the Alfredo Cisneros del Moral Foundation.

The Residency Program provides writers with a furnished room and office in the Casa Azul, a blue house across the street from where Cisneros lives in San Antonio, which is also the headquarters of the Macondo Foundation. Cisneros founded the Alfredo Cisneros del Moral Foundation in Literary critic Claudia Sadowski-Smith has called Cisneros "perhaps the most famous Chicana writer", [29] and Cisneros has been acknowledged as a pioneer in her literary field as the first female Mexican-American writer to have her work published by a mainstream publisher.

As Ganz observes, previously only male Chicano authors had successfully made the crossover from smaller publishers. Cisneros spoke of her success and what it meant for Chicana literature in an interview on National Public Radio on 19 September I think I can't be happy if I'm the only one that's getting published by Random House when I know there are such magnificent writers — both Latinos and Latinas, both Chicanos and Chicanas — in the U. And, you know, if my success means that other presses will take a second look at these writers As a pioneer Chicana author, Cisneros filled a void by bringing to the fore a genre that had previously been at the margins of mainstream literature.

Cisneros often incorporates Spanish into her English writing, substituting Spanish words for English ones where she feels that Spanish better conveys the meaning or improves the rhythm of the passage. Such a funny name for such a lovely arroyo. But that's what they called the creek that ran behind the house. She enjoys manipulating the two languages, creating new expressions in English by literally translating Spanish phrases.

Cisneros noted on this process: As she discovered, after writing The House on Mango Street primarily in English, "the syntax, the sensibility, the diminutives, the way of looking at inanimate objects" were all characteristic of Spanish. Cisneros's fiction comes in various forms—as novels, poems, and short stories—by which she challenges both social conventions, with her "celebratory breaking of sexual taboos and trespassing across the restrictions that limit the lives and experiences of Chicanas", and literary ones, with her "bold experimentation with literary voice and her development of a hybrid form that weaves poetry into prose".

Cisneros alternates between first person, third person, and stream-of-consciousness narrative modes, and ranges from brief impressionistic vignettes to longer event-driven stories, and from highly poetic language to brutally frank realist language. Some stories lack a narrator to mediate between the characters and the reader; they are instead composed of textual fragments or conversations "overheard" by the reader.

For example, "Little Miracles, Kept Promises" is composed of fictional notes asking for the blessings of patron saints, and "The Marlboro Man" transcribes a gossiping telephone conversation between two female characters.

Works by Cisneros can appear simple at first reading, but this is deceptive. Cruz describes how each individual will interact differently with Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories , thus eliciting such varied reader responses as "it is about growing up", to "it's about a Chicana's growing up", to "it is a critique of patriarchal structures and exclusionary practices".

When Cisneros describes the aspirations and struggles of Chicanas, the theme of place often emerges. Place refers not only to her novels' geographic locations, but also to the positions her characters hold within their social context.

Chicanas frequently occupy Anglo-dominated and male-dominated places where they are subject to a variety of oppressive and prejudicial behaviors; one of these places that is of particular interest to Cisneros is the home. Not an apartment in back.

Not a man's house. A house all my own. With my porch and my pillow, my pretty purple petunias. My books and my stories. My two shoes waiting beside the bed. Nobody to shake a stick at. Nobody's garbage to pick up after.

We don't mean that it's ostentatious or flowery — to the contrary, it's natural, clear, and easy to understand. By poetic, we mean Cisneros's sentences are full of imagery, metaphors, and word games. For example, when Esperanza wants to describe what it's like having to tote her annoying baby sister around, she hits us with a snapshot image that sums up her feelings of loneliness: If you listen to these phrases, you'll notice that they're sing-songy — they even play with rhyme: There was a family.

Their arms were little, and their hands were little, and their height was not tall, and their feet very small. And how about this one: Only a house quiet as snow, a space for myself to go, clean as paper before the poem. What's Up With the Ending?

Poetic Prose

Main Topics

Privacy Policy

Sandra Cisneros Writing Style She often incorporates Spanish into her English writing, substituting Spanish words for English ones where she feels that Spanish better conveys the meaning or improves the rhythm of the passage.

Privacy FAQs

Sandra Cisneros's writing style in the novel The House on Mango Street transcends two genres, poetry and the short story. The novel is written in a series of poetic vignettes that make it easy to read. These distinguishing attributes are combined to create the backbone of Cisneros's unique style and structure.

About Our Ads

The writing style of "Eleven" illustrates this concept in an entirely user-friendly manner: Not mine, not mine, not mine, but Mrs. Price is already turning to page thirty-two, and math problem number four. Secondly, her style is poetic. We don't mean that it's ostentatious or flowery – to the contrary, it's natural, clear, and easy to understand. By poetic, we mean Cisneros's sentences are full of imagery, metaphors, and word games.

Cookie Info

Sandra Cisneros (born December 20, ) is a Mexican-American writer. She is best known for her first novel The House on Mango Street () and her subsequent short story collection Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories (). Cisneros' Writing Style Both The House on Mango Street and "Woman Hollering Creek" and Other Stories by Cisneros may seem to the hasty first-time reader to be casually, even loosely constructed, yet the careful reader suspects that nothing could be further from the truth.