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Mericans by Sandra Cisneros

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‘Mericans’ by Sandra Cisneros is a short story about a young girl who is narrating the story, it is about a time in her life, when she is caught between the ‘old’ world (Mexico) and the ‘new’ world (America). It starts out with the girl telling about her grandmother, nicknamed the ‘awful grandmother’, praying in church. She tells of all the different prayers that need to be made, and of all the traditions that the grandmother is practicing. The girl and her brothers are stuck outside the church, waiting for their grandmother, they aren’t allowed to walk to the plaza, where there are balloons, comic books, and other fun things. But they are also not allowed to come inside the church. One of her brothers is running around playing, while her other brother is just leaning against the wall. She decides to go inside, to see what is taking her grandmother so long to pray, but the ‘awful grandmother’ only orders her back outside. When she gets back outside, an American couple wants to take a picture of the girls younger brother, they are speaking Spanish as they are under the impression that the children are Mexican, and can only speak Spanish. But after taking the picture, the little boy yells to his siblings, in English, and it is revealed that they are ‘Mericans’. This all signifies that the children are stuck between the two worlds, they can’t go inside where the old Mexican ways are practiced, where they would speak only Spanish. But they also aren’t allowed to go to the plaza, where there are fun modern things to do, such as riding wooden ponies. The children speak both Spanish and English, which is why they refer to themselves as ‘Mericans’. They want to enjoy the new things, but they are pulled back by their heritage. They are a cross between Mexican and American, the ‘Old world’ and the ‘New world’.



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