Sandra Cisneros writes a novel about a family fitting within sets of prearranged cultural and societal rules while uncovering the truth of the past. Notably, Caramelo is an ethnic-cultural book about homeland and identities. While there are several cultural aspects that have been pointed out in the novel, conflict causes and their resolutions have also been found as some of the pillars that shape families and directs individuals on how to live with each other and fit in different societal settings. In order to identify the significance of conflicts, this paper looks at the specific instances of conflicts between Lala and her grandmother.
One of the major reasons for the conflict between Lala and her grandmother, Soledad, is the fight for Inocencio Reyess attention and love. According to the novel, Lala is Inocencios favorite, a fact that upsets both her mother and grandmother. Apparently, Soledad was forsaken by her father, but the sense of that isolation was not solved during her marriage. When she gave birth to Inocencio Reyes, she had a company and loved him so much. However, after marrying and giving birth to Lala, Inocencio shifted his attention to Lala, an action which was not taken lightly by her grandmother. Hence in most cases, Soledad would keep on picking on her. In the end, Lala viewed her grandmother as a witch who can swallow [them] all, if you let her (21). This conflict was solved after her grandmother realizes that it is in order culturally and biologically for Inocencio to love her family more than anybody else.
Another major cause for conflicts between Lala and her grandmother is sexuality. Soledad, Lalas grandmother, after being abandoned by her husband during pregnancy believes that her family should take care of themselves and protect their virginity. However, it turned to be opposite when Lala had a sexual intercourse with her boyfriend. This brings a serious confrontation between Lala and Soledad until she runs away only to be rescued by her loving father. Ideally, elders inform ladies to take care of themselves. However, this is habitually taken literally but it means to protect the virginity. This conflict has been solved after Lala realizes that her grandmother was correct when the boyfriend does not show seriousness.
Another cause for conflicts between Lala and her grandmother is culture. While the awful grandmother wanted her to live in a particular manner in line with Mexican culture, Lala finds this style outdated and quiet hard since she has been brought both in the Unites States and Mexico, but lived long in the US therefore, Mexican lifestyle is a bit hard to abide with. Lala experiences the same during the time in Catholic school in San Antonio. She is uncertain on how to present herself nicely during a class confab on sexual morals. The conflict was solved after understanding that in some cases there are great challenges when one is grown in different environments with dissimilar cultural practices.
In conclusion, the novel Caramelo is a typical writing that informs readers of families trying to cope up in predetermined cultural and societal rules while also articulating the significance of conflicts within a society. Some of the cases of conflicts between Lala and her grandmother include cultural practices, sexuality and Inocencio Reyess attention.
Benjumea, Patricia. "Caramelo. Sandra Cisneros." Journal of Latinos and Education 2.4 (2003): 255-256.
Cisneros, Sandra. Caramelo. Vintage, 2013.
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