Caramelo has been quite an interesting novel. It describes a Hispanic family to the tee. Sandra Cisneros chose her title perfectly for this book. Life's hardships and possibilities are explored throughout this fascinating novel.
The author describes the word caramelo in different ways and in two different occasions. The first occasion was to describe Candelarias' skin color. Celaya quoted: "Her skin a caramelo. A color so sweet, it hurts to even look at her." (p.37). She also says: "Her skin is as smooth as peanut butter and deep as burnt-milk candy. The other occasion caramelo is mentioned was to describe the awful grandmothers' rare, old, unique, and unfinished silk rebozo. "The grandfather pulls out a cloth from the walnut-wood armoire of caramel, licorice, and vanilla stripes." (p.58) These two events are mostly connected by the description of color. The author describes Candelarias' skin color being so sweet it hurts, much like a very sweet candy would. Much like the candy is sweet, so is Candelaria and her personality.
I believe Cisneros chose Caramelo because a caramelo or candy cane has dark and bright long stripes on it. To me the stripes indicate a person's life span. They also symbolize the dark, dreadful times we all go through and the bright stripes would tell the joyous, wonderful times we have in life. In addition, the stripes twirl around and around similar to our lives. Everyone's life has a curve or turn for the good or bad. If hard times are present, that would reveal the dark stripe and a graduation or birth would be a bright stripe in life. The curve of a caramelo-candy cane would symbolize life's changing point.
The caramelo rebozo means a lot to Celaya while telling the story, because her father had promised to buy her a unique and rare silk one one day. (p.38) It also matters to her a lot since the authentic and original rebozo are not made anymore. The grandmother also...
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