Sandra Cisnero Only Daughter Analysis

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Throughout the ages, gender has been socially constructed in some way or another. Gender conditioning begins once the parents are aware of the sexual gender of the child. Society has spoken: Pink pacifiers for the girls, blue pacifiers for the boys. The expectations begin. This list of expectations is also very much dependent upon the influence of cultural conditioning and ethnic identity as evident in Sandra Cisnero's Only Daughter. The protagonist is a Latino woman in search of validation. While Cisnero uses imagery to paint a picture of a young girl who is gentle, obedient and subdued, it is also evident she possesses an inner strength equivalent to that of a salmon swimming upstream. In addition to imagery, Cisnero uses the power of the first person point of view and tone to convince …show more content…

Her passion is real and strongly felt in the following passage. "He didn't mean anything by the mistranslation, I’m sure. But somehow I could feel myself being erased." ( ) The reader clearly feels the anguish of her experience.

It is important to note that this story has so many different levels, each of which intertwines with the other, giving a better understanding of the cultural identity of the main character. Firstly, she is (obviously) a girl who is born into an ethnically mixed family. “I am the only daughter of a Mexican father and a Mexican-American mother." ( ) She had six siblings, all brothers. Her family also vacillated between living in the states and spending time in Mexico. One would need to study the culture of Mexicans to understand better why Cisnero's protagonist was submissive and quiet and respectful in the home of her father. Still, Cisnero uses conversational language and vivid images to breathe life into the home of the family in the story. "Being an only daughter in a family of six sons forced me by circumstance to spend a lot of time by myself because my brothers felt it beneath them

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