Sexual Difference and Women's Space in Sandra Cisneros' Caramelo

Keywords: Sandra Cisneros; Caramelo; Sexual difference; Other; Space; Luce Irigaray


  • Razieh Faraji MA English Literature Faculty of Humanities, Department of English Literature Malayer State University, Iran
  • Sahar Jamshidian
    PhD. English Literature Assistant Professor Faculty of Humanities, Department of English Literature Malayer State University, Iran
June 30, 2021


Unlike previous feminist critics who were seeking ways to reduce the otherness of the women to help them be the same as men, the subject, Luce Irigaray, strongly emphasizes the irreducibility of the women's place as the "other." Concerned with the concept of sexual difference and the otherness of women, Irigaray occupies a unique position among feminist critics. Irigaray aims not to be the "same," but to make a clear border between these two sexually different creatures. Based on sexual difference, both men and women should stand in their bordered place, and they cannot be substituted for the other. Accordingly, Irigaray seeks irreducible alterity for women in all aspects, which is the most crucial objective of this paper. Being a feminitst by spirit, Sandra Cisneros, the prize-winning chicana writer, in her novel, Caramelo (2002), dramatizes what Irigaray theorizes in her Ethics of Sexual Difference (1993). In this light, the current study analyzes Caramelo to illustrate how the "place" of the "other," that is women's "place," is occupied unfairly by the empowered men, and how female characters resist and/or succumb to the oppressive situations. The results of the study indicate that Lala, the main character, possesses the potentiality of being aware of "sexual difference" and "space," as key tools, to regain her place occupied by men, and reclaim her subjectivity, goals for which both Sandra Cisneros and Luce Irigary have aimed for years.