Professor Vasconcelos Hammock
21 January 2012
Sandra Cisneros was born the daughter of a Mexican-American mother and a Mexican immigrant father. She grew up as the only daughter of a family of 7 children. The family frequently moved back and forth between Chicago and Mexico and she never had much time to settle anywhere. Cisneros graduated from Loyola University in 1976 with a bachelor’s degree in English and eventually went on to obtain her master’s degree of fine arts in writing. She published her autobiography Ghosts and Voices: Writing from Obsession in the spring of 1987 which detailed her life and all its upheaval. Throughout her autobiography Cisneros creates a sense of disconnectedness with the world around her. She reveals feeling separated from society in her reading and writing. Her loneliness from being the only daughter in a family of sons and her inability to make friends separates her further from the interactive normalcy of society. “Instead of writing by inspiration, it seems we write by obsessions, of that which is most violently tugging at our psyche… there is the necessary phase of dealing with those ghosts and voices most urgently haunting us, day by day” (Cisneros, Ghosts, 49). This lack of a sense of belonging, results in separation and isolation, which impacts her society and weaves its way into themes of her writing.
Cisneros separates herself from the normality of society in 3 main ways, the first of which is her poverty. As a poor person growing up in a society where the class norm was superimposed on a T.V. screen, I couldn’t understand why our home wasn’t all green and white wood like the ones in “Leave it To Beaver” or “Father Knows Best.” Poverty then became the Ghost and in an attempt to escape the ghost, I rejected what was at hand and emulated the voices of the poets I admired in books: big male voices like James Wright and Richard Hugo and Theodore Roethke, all wrong for me....
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