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In a short story Mericans, Sandra Cisneros shared about the Hispanics, their culture and their way of life. This story also describes some differences between Latin Americans and the habitats of other regions of the continent. The story focuses on three Hispanic children, who waiting for their grandmother and view passers-by people. Children are bored, but have to wait for their granny, so they try to entertain themselves. One of them, who is also a narrator of the story, looks around and examine everything, standing where he must wait for an old woman.
The scene in Mericans is laid in Latin America. Three boys: the elder brother of the narrator, called Junior, the narrator himself and his younger brother Keeks stand near the church waiting for their grandmother. One of the boys looks at the church and prayers passing by. Using the eyes of this child, the author presents the culture of Latin America. The settings in this story underline the cultural features of the region described in this work. The narrator states, She [grandmother] disappeared behind the heavy leather outer curtain and the dusty velvet inner. We must stay near the church entrance. We must not wander over to the balloon and punch-ball vendors. We cannot spend our allowance on fried cookies or Familia Burron comic books or those clear cone-shaped suckers that make everything look like a rainbow when you look through them.(Cisneros., 1). So, this quotation not only describes the cultural features of the place but also underlines that there are some elements similar to the other regions of the American continent.
The narrator stresses the similarities and differences between The Latin America and other regions in an episode when a boy briefly describes his relatives analyzing the situation. His relatives have some habits usual for Hispanic society, but strange for the representative of the other societies. The given relatives also have habits and features, which can be found in people all over the world. Speaking about the grandmother, she is described as a true Hispanic, who always speaks Spain, even when somebody asks her in English. The narrator states The awful grandmother says it all in Spanish, which I understand when I'm paying attention. What? I say, . What?" which the awful grandmother hears as Guat?(Cisneros., 4). By using these elements of the plot the writer presents the cultural features in peoples life and the differences and similarities with the other people all over the world.
To create an atmosphere of the place and to underline the features of culture, the author uses a lot of Spanish geographical names and names of the people. For this purpose, the author uses some meals of Spanish cuisine, describing the habits of the boys relatives and his own tastes. The boys Aunt usually has a brain and goat tacos for breakfast. Other examples are the use of the words like plaza, mesquite tree. One of the techniques of the creating of the atmosphere in this work is the episode when the boys met tourists. The narrator sees them and understands at once that they arent local people. They're not from here. Ladies don't come to church dressed in pants. And everybody knows men aren't supposed to wear shorts.(Cisneros.,5). The next conversation between the woman tourist and the elder brother of the narrator shows the relationships between countries. The woman tries to speak with the boy in Spanish without knowing that he speaks English. She is surprised, understanding this and the fact that the boys call themselves Mericans.
From these facts, one may conclude that the main theme of this short story is a life in Latin America and the similarities of that culture with the others from the American continent. Throughout the whole story, Cisneros portrays the Latin American culture and life of local people. Thus, the author gives a convincing picture of the place and a brief explanation of the Hispanics way of life.
Cisneros, Sandra. "Mericans." Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories. New York: Random House, 1991.
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