Assimilation, Space, and the Mother Goddess in Sandra Cisneros’s “Mericans” and “Tepeyac”

Insaf Khémiri

Abstract


In the United States, Chicano/as try to preserve and defend their ‘mestizaje,’ that is hybridity, in an attempt to resist hegemony and assimilation. Chicano/as are denied an ‘American’ identity because of their ‘Métis’ or hybrid culture; they are, rather, ‘hyphenated Americans.’ For this reason, they go back to the past to revise ‘History’ and resurrect the ‘Myths’ of their ancestors, the ‘Mothers’ of their Motherland. La Virgen de Guadalupe is another face of the Mother Goddess Coatlalopeuh who was disfigured and transformed into a ‘virgin’ Lady, leaving the dark ‘terrible’ side of the mask to the ghost/shadow: La Llorona. The article focuses on two short stories by Sandra Cisneros, “Mericans” and “Tepeyac,” to study how through re-visiting the ‘Mother,’ Chicano/as reread the ‘Hi(s)tory’ of the ‘Hero’ who brought ‘civilization’ and Christianity to the Aztecs, emphasizing the ‘ethnic’ presence of the Goddess and her ‘brown’ descendants and, hence, ‘reclaiming ’ a space of their own.


Keywords


Assimilation, space, Great Mother, Virgen de Guadalupe.

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