Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories

Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories

by

Sandra Cisneros

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Clemencia Character Analysis

The protagonist of “Never Marry a Mexican,” a woman whose Mexican-American mother tells her to never marry a Mexican man. Clemencia takes this advice to heart, even declaring that she’ll never marry any man because she has “witnessed their infidelities.” Instead, she has made peace with the fact that she is somebody who steals other women’s husbands, as she does by falling in love with Drew. Indeed, Clemencia’s relationship with Drew is long and complicated, beginning even before Drew and his wife Megan have a son together—and when this son is born, Clemencia makes sure that Drew isn’t by his wife’s side in the hospital, but rather at home having sex with her (Clemencia). When Drew’s son is old enough, Clemencia takes him under her wing and begins sleeping with him too. And though she is strong and independent—upholding that Drew is “nothing” without her—she can’t help but feel jealous and hurt when she imagines Drew lying next to Megan in bed. In response to this pain, she turns her attention outward, watching people pass her on the street and feeling that “all humanity” is “lovely.”

Clemencia Quotes in Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories

The Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories quotes below are all either spoken by Clemencia or refer to Clemencia. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Love, The Joy of Life, & Interconnection Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Vintage Books edition of Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories published in 1991.
Never Marry a Mexican Quotes

I guess she did it to spare me and Ximena the pain she went through. Having married a Mexican man at seventeen. Having had to put up with all the grief a Mexican family can put on a girl because she was from el otro lado, the other side, and my father had married down by marrying her. If he had married a white woman from el otro lado, that would’ve been different. That would’ve been marrying up, even if the white girl was poor. But what could be more ridiculous than a Mexican girl who couldn’t even speak Spanish, who didn’t know enough to set a separate plate for each course at dinner, nor how to fold cloth napkins, nor how to set the silverware.

Related Characters: Clemencia (speaker), Clemencia’s Mother, Clemencia’s Father
Page Number: 69
Explanation and Analysis:

I paint and repaint you the way I see fit, even now. After all these years. Did you know that? Little fool. You think I went hobbling along with my life, whimpering and whining like some twangy country-and-western when you went back to her. But I’ve been waiting. Making the world look at you from my eyes. And if that’s not power, what is?

Related Characters: Clemencia (speaker), Drew, Megan
Page Number: 75
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories LitChart as a printable PDF.
Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories PDF

Clemencia Character Timeline in Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories

The timeline below shows where the character Clemencia appears in Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Never Marry a Mexican
Love, The Joy of Life, & Interconnection Theme Icon
Cultural & National Identity Theme Icon
Clemencia explains that her mother has always told her to never marry a Mexican. Having taken... (full context)
Love, The Joy of Life, & Interconnection Theme Icon
Female Objectification & Power Theme Icon
Cultural & National Identity Theme Icon
Clemencia thinks of herself as “amphibious,” a person who “doesn’t belong to any class.” When she... (full context)
Love, The Joy of Life, & Interconnection Theme Icon
Female Objectification & Power Theme Icon
Cultural & National Identity Theme Icon
Clemencia addresses a man named Drew in her narrative, asking him if he remembers speaking Spanish... (full context)
Love, The Joy of Life, & Interconnection Theme Icon
Female Objectification & Power Theme Icon
Clemencia asks Drew if his son knows the role she played in his birth. Pushing on,... (full context)
Love, The Joy of Life, & Interconnection Theme Icon
Female Objectification & Power Theme Icon
Cultural & National Identity Theme Icon
Turning her attention more completely to Drew’s son, Clemencia says she’s been “waiting patient as a spider all these years.” And although she has... (full context)
Love, The Joy of Life, & Interconnection Theme Icon
Female Objectification & Power Theme Icon
Cultural & National Identity Theme Icon
Clemencia admits that she has slept with many men while their wives are in labor. “Why... (full context)
Love, The Joy of Life, & Interconnection Theme Icon
Loss, Longing, & Grief Theme Icon
Clemencia reveals to Drew’s son that she’s only met his mother once, when she accidentally ran... (full context)
Love, The Joy of Life, & Interconnection Theme Icon
Female Objectification & Power Theme Icon
Loss, Longing, & Grief Theme Icon
“These days,” Clemencia writes, she wakes up in the morning and makes coffee for herself, “milk for the... (full context)