Point of View

I only say what people want to hear.

Analysis of Caramelo by Sandra Cisneros Essay

This telling of healthy lies, which even Zoila does by not telling Innocencio about how much of their things are secondhand, is just giving people what they wanna hear, and something to satisfy them. Of anything it helps them. In part 3 of Carmelo, a few things that were mysteries throughout the story come full circle and now make sense.

Also, the awful Grandmother continues her evil ways but takes a different approach the she hopes no one else notices. It goes without saying that Soledad had a genuine dislike towards Celaya and no one really knew why. Celaya had the relationship with her dad that Soledad wishes she had with her father, but he sent her to live with Aunt Fina. The awful Grandmother in part three proved again, through what she thought was a nice gesture, that she is truly awful.

But it was for her own selfish reasons that she did that. She bought the house to move in with them and try to win back Inocencio to make herself, once again, the number one woman in his life. She wanted to manipulate the situation to her advantage. I also thought that the house she bought was somehow tied to Celaya. She hated the house they moved into and it makes sense that the awful Grandmother might have purposely done that. In part three we figure out that what Zoila was referring to was Candelaria being the daughter of Inocencio and her never knowing.

This controversy leads into the theme of the book that I discovered in the last part. Everyone puts their own twist on stories so they stray further and further from the truth. The overall theme of the book is dishonesty and being secretive.

Sandra Cisneros

The stories told throughout the story were all twisted in their own way and finding out that Candelaria was the daughter of Inocencio proved secrecy was also a theme of the book. The idea of Spring as a time of rebirth and growth is one that carries throughout literature, and it is not absent from Caramelo.

The spring is the time of rebirth, the winter the time of death, and the summer the time of life. Caramelo follows this pattern throughout the novel. Not only are the descriptions in the novel more vivid in the beginning, but Celaya is more full of life. In part two and the beginning of three, the sense of the novel is winter. The death of the little grandfather, Narciso is introduced in part two and the death of Soledad is in part three during the winter.

There is a change in the descriptions of Mexico between the summer and the spring, the image portrayed is not as vivid. The idea of winter being a time of death and sadness is embodied in the deaths within the family and the wedges driven between the family. The biggest change can be seen in Celaya.

Winter gives life to spring, as does death create a pathway for life. Caramelo follows a pattern of the metaphorical changes associated with the seasons. And the argument between Mother and Celaya [p. Where are there other examples of this repetition within the novel? What themes does this structural repetition help convey?

The family history that forms the central story line of Caramelo is structured in part chronologically and in part by the relationships formed by different family members. How does the historical chronology at the end of the novel edify the Reyes family events that take place within the body of the narrative—and vice versa? In other words, since the reader probably read the story before the chronology, how do the fictional family events illuminate the factual chronology of United States and Mexican history?

Who or what is really in control of the lives and histories portrayed?

English 298 Short Story Lecture 1

How is destiny different for Celaya, her grandmother, her parents, and her friend Viva? What is the difference? Are the Awful Grandmother and Celaya alike in character, and if so, in what ways?

Caramelo sandra cisneros essay

What does the Awful Grandmother teach Celaya about herself? Does she relate this cynically or humorously, or both? What religious beliefs does Celaya hold? What is the role played in the novel by the various Mexican or Mexican-American figures of popular culture who have encounters with members of the Reyes family? How does Cisneros use these characters to convey both the individuality as well as the universality of the Mexican-American immigrant experience? The characters in Caramelo make frequent observations about Mexicans.

With what tone do the characters deliver these types of generalizations, and how are they to be interpreted? Why might these characters portray their native countrymen in this way? Do people of other cultures make similarly deprecating comments, and what purpose might making such comments serve for such people? How does the Reyes family view the United States as compared to Mexico? How are the two countries portrayed in Caramelo on both political and social levels?

Is this different or similar to how people from different classes or ethnicities such as the Indians in Mexico City treat or view each other? The Reyes family members move fluidly throughout the book between Mexico and the United States. Does the ease of such movement diminish for each generation? How does the immigration of Inocencio and his siblings and first cousins reflect immigration between the countries in the middle part of the twentieth century, and how has immigration to the United States from Mexico changed today?

How do the changes in immigration reflect the changes in the relationship between the countries? How does Caramelo reflect the immigrant experience generally for the middle part of the twentieth century, and how have changes within the United States both socially and politically affected the contemporary immigrant experience? For the Reyes family members who immigrate to the United States, which elements of Mexico are preserved in America and which are lost in the process of assimilation? Is it necessary for an immigrant to lose something of his or her original culture in order to assimilate into a new culture and, once assimilated, are the old ways lost for good?

What a barbarity!


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You call that civilized? Like dogs. Worse than dogs. I would! What system of morality do the Reyes abide by? Does this code of morality reflect a more Mexican, more American, or a Mexican-American way of thinking?

Sandra Cisneros' 'Caramelo' Captures the Mexican-American Struggle for Identity

What explains the strength of the relationship between Inocencio and the Awful Grandmother? Is the relationship between Zoila and Toto equally strong? Why or why not? How can mothers and daughters, such as Aunty Light-Skin and the Awful Grandmother, or Celaya and Zoila, successfully relate to each other in the face of such strong mother-son relationships?

Is the favoritism these mothers show for their sons unique to Mexican culture? How does the bond between a son and his mother compare to the relationship between Celaya and Inocencio? Still Celaya.