INSTITUTO DE INVESTIGACIONES EN HUMANIDADES Y CIENCIAS SOCIALES
Unidad Ejecutora - UE
Dreaming a Latina Dream. Sandra Cisneross The House on Mango Street in the Literature Class
MARÍA LAURA SPOTURNO
Association for Language Learning, University of Leicester
Lugar: University of Leicester, Inglaterra; Año: 2010 p. 15 - 15
Most critics agree that The House on Mango Street by Chicana writer Sandra Cisneros can be regarded as a coming of age story-cycle, composed of stories, vignettes or barrio historias which should be placed, following McCracken (1989), midway between the intensity of the short story and the discursive length of the novel (64). McCracken (1989) states that Cisneross book makes for a revised version of the individualistic Bildungsroman, which is, in turn, a form of opposing the dominant discourse. In this article, I will explore the particular generic nature of Cisneross novel from a critical perspective which encompasses the design of teaching strategies meant for undergrad students of Spanish or English. According to Karafilis (1998), Cisneros modifies the traditional form of the Bildungsroman, usually concerned about individual experiences and the construction of sameness, to focus on the construction of sameness and otherness the individual within a community as seen from a point of view which is imbued in a non-Anglo value system. With this respect, Karafilis further argues that there are three ways in which The House on Mango Street appropriates and modifies the traditional Bildungsroman: [Cisneross] emphasis on the communal instead of the individual, her emphasis on fragmented and circular narrative patterns instead of linear movement, and her critique of American materialism and manipulation of the stereotypical American Dream to include those usually excluded- the poor and/or nonwhite. (66) While these three modes of revision can be seen as interrelated, in this article and class design, I will focus more specifically on the third aspect; i.e. on the questioning of the American Dream from a non canonical perspective.