Undergraduate Honors Theses


"A House on Fire": Xicanisma and Domesticity in Sandra Cisneros's Major Works

Thesis Defended

Spring 2019

Document Type


Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors



First Advisor

Maria Windell

Second Advisor

Karen Jacobs

Third Advisor

Jessica Ordaz


By applying material Xicanista theory to analyze domesticity in Sandra Cisneros’s inventive literature this thesis recognizes the domestic sphere as a site ripe for potential reconfigurations and transformations. This thesis examines Cisneros’s presentations of domesticity within her major works to argue that she is committed to representing the heterogeneity of Xicana experiences and that her work is grounded in historical and material reality. Her examination of Xicana domesticity allows for engagement with larger sociopolitical considerations that recognize the differences in experiences for Xicanas from Anglos. Her feminist critique of domesticity elevates class and race as considerations in addition to gender to encourage cognizance of domestic ideals as culturally produced. Cisneros presents alternative discourses that recognize and represent Xicana cultural specificity. Through Cisneros’s heterogeneous depictions of Xicana domesticity in her narratives, she actuates a feminist critique that recognizes the domestic sphere as a legitimate site for Xicanisma negotiations and presents alternative narratives that depict possibilities that include reinventing the domestic as a site for empowerment.

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