Sandra Cisneros' "Only Daughter": Parent's Absence and Its Impact on Individual
There comes a phase in life when one feels disconnected or unaccepted by their family and others. For some it's finding their true selves during teenage and while others it’s coping with themselves during a mid life crisis, there is a difference of how you perceive yourself and how others perceive you. As humans, we as a whole require acceptance from our parents and want them to feel happy for us and acknowledge us for our identity. It's an essential human instinct to feel loved and be acknowledged from the individuals who we appreciate the most. The essay, 'Only Daughter,' by Sandra Cisneros, shows how a parent's absence of acknowledgment and support and perception of an individual can affect with their self perception and can shape an individual's life. Cisneros utilizes writing techniques, for example, emotion, specified vocabulary, and irony to exhibit how her trying to overcome a confined childhood influenced her from multiple points of view.
Cisneros portrays her feelings of disconnection and edginess to feel sufficient in her dad's eyes using emotion that connects with the reader. All through the article, the reader regularly feels sympathetic towards Cisneros. Despite the fact that she had such a great amount of potential to be a writer, her dad, siblings, and societal norms obviously attempted to smother her. At the point when Cisneros referenced leaving for college so as to turn into a writer, her siblings snickered and derided her endeavors. Her father just needed his daughter to attend a university because it would aid in finding an educated and successful husband. Cisneros outlines how much her dad's perception of her genuinely affected her. She states, “In a sense, everything I have ever written has been for him, to win his approval”. This makes the reader feel pitiful for Cisneros and her incalculable endeavors to please her dad. Every one of her efforts to become a writer one day were to please her dad so she could get a sense of fulfillment. We can see the franticness in her words as she asks for her dad's approval. Sandra Cisneros grew up as one daughter amongst six brothers in an ethnic family. She was the little girl encompassed by six brothers who often overlooked her for being the single sister. Clearly in result of the current societal gender expectations they secluded her since they were too embarrassed to be seen hanging out with a girl in the neighbourhood. Sandra Cisneros needed to battle to make a name for herself in the family. Since the beginning, she experienced the significance of dejection. Cisneros underlines all through the story how disconnected she felt cause of her family. Her dad went talking about his seven children would tell people that, 'I have seven children' Without the intention to hurt her, her father's perception of not mentioning his only daughter’s significance still negatively affected her mentally. Cisneros says, 'He didn't mean anything by that mistranslation, I'm sure. But somehow I could feel myself getting erased '. Sandra Cisneros implies when she says that it was a 'mistranslation.' In the Spanish language, the term, ‘hijos’, can translate to “sons' or 'children.' When Cisneros' dad stated, 'siete hijos', he clearly meant to say seven children, however Cisneros spent her childhood isolated and rejected by her family and she took the phrase in the wrong context feeling as if she was insulted. Despite the fact that this disheartened her, Cisneros utilized her rejection by furthering her potential benefit. Cisneros utilizes her seclusion as an opportunity to flourish as a writer.
As indicated by her dad, her motivation in life was to one day find a successful husband and settle down. Cisneros' dad shook his head in frustration when he understood that his daughter attended a university for the sole purpose of education and a job as opposed to looking for a spouse. Cisneros states, “After four years in college and two more in graduate school, and still no husband, my father shakes his head even now and says I wasted all that education”. In spite of her dad's constrained perspective on gender roles in society, Cisneros realizes that her education did not go to a waste. Cisneros attempts to clarify how much other people's perception of her mattered to her and that her motivation for writing was for her dad and individuals like her dad. Cisneros says, “My father represents, then, the public majority. A public who is disinterested in reading, and yet one whom I am writing about and for, and privately trying to woo”. Cisneros accentuates how her dad debased her and didn't acknowledge her goals throughout everyday life. All through the article, Cisneros embeds a few Spanish words into her paper to underscore certain focuses in her story. For example, when looking at being a teacher, Cisneros utilizes the words, ‘maestra’ and ‘profesora’. She says, “I wanted my father to understand what it was I was scribbling, to introduce me as ‘My only daughter, the writer.’ Not as ‘This is only my daughter. She teaches.’ Es maestra—teacher. Not even profesora”. Albeit the two words signify 'teacher' in Spanish, the term profesora has more acknowledgment as a progressively taught, regarded educator. The term profesora, is all the more frequently used to portray a school or university professor instead of maestra, which means the lower dimensions of teaching. By alluding to Cisneros as a maestra, rather than profesora was debasing her and her achievements. Her father's perception of her in general heavily influences her future self and what she strives for.
Cisneros utilizes irony to portray the confused relationship she had with her dad, which influenced her childhood. Ironically, Cisneros goes to such incredible lengths to separate herself from the one person she genuinely hungers for endorsement from. Cisneros attempts to be not quite the same as her dad from various perspectives. For instance, while her dad never learned English and went through his days buckling down physical work, Cisneros had an opposite perception. She learned English and composed stories in both English and Spanish. She needed to head off to college and be educated. She needed to split far from her social standards, rather than resembling her dad, who “suffered bouts of nostalgia”. It was certainly ironic that Cisneros' dad demanded that his children's experience life thinking with their heads, not their hands and then further went on to disagree with Cisneros’ ambitions. He shook his head when she needed to go to class to get training however demanded that his girl should think carefully. Cisneros writes, “’Use this,’ my father said, tapping his head, ‘and not this,’ showing us those hands”. Her absence of acknowledgment and approval from her father may have had harming effects on Cisneros. She clarifies the significance that a parent's affection and acceptance has on a child. These absence of feelings can impact an individual, not only at the present moment, but in the long haul too. Despite the fact that Cisneros used her disconnection and absence of acknowledgment to her advantage to achieve success, not every person manages these feelings similarly. Cisneros shows the best way to manage issues like hers in a sound, productive manner.
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