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Aunt Rosanas Rocker-hispanic-a

Aunt Rosana’s Rocker
As times change, everything changes with it. The roles
that women take on have changed in certain cultures, but in
some cultures they have remained the same. Before, men were
treated with more respect and superiority, while women had
no voices or say in the events that took place in their
society. Today, there are situations where men are taken
more seriously than women, but slowly, women are being
treated with respect and play an active role in their
community and have involved themselves within their
community. In certain cases the roles never change because
the people do not change along with the society. In those
cases, the roles are usually permanent because of their
character or personalities and how they were raised. The
ways that some people were raised and their environment are
the direct cause to why they may be the way they are. ‘Aunt
Rosana’s Rocker’; by Nicholasa Mohr presents a story where it
discusses the lives of a married couple and how they are
struggling with issues that involve not only the marriage,
but themselves. In a way, it does not directly talk about
the different roles they play, but it can be seen and
understood through the events that take place and through
the way the characters act.

Castro, who is one of the main characters of the story
is married to Zoraida. Zoraida’s husband, Castro, is the
head of the family and is the one who is working and
supporting the family. ‘He had even considered sleeping on
the living room couch, but he would not be driven out of his
own bed. He was still a man after all, a macho, master of
his home, someone to be reckoned with, not be pushed out.’;
(Aunt Rosana’s Rocker pg. 81) Castro is a masculine figure
and takes on the role of the husband. He supports and takes
care of his family, but the character thinks of himself more
than a caretaker. He is prideful and arrogant. As a male
figure it is understandable that they may take on the role
of someone who is confident and strong, but Castro takes it
a step further by implying that he is the only one who is
capable of handling matters and is someone who only thinks
about himself.
There would be times that Castro would be portrayed as
someone who is patient and understanding, but underneath
that disguise he was a man who had intentions and only cared
for his own well being. ‘Putting down his hands, Castro
opened his eyes. All he could do was wait patiently, as he
always did, wait for her to finish.’; (Aunt Rosana’s Rocker
pg. 81) ‘He had no slept properly since this whole affair
started. After all, he had to drive out to New Jersey to
earn his living and his strength and sleep were being sapped
away. (pg. 81) He would even tell his family good things
about his wife, but he was only doing so that he could
benefit from it. As a male figure, Castro wanted control and
wanted to have control of others. ”Every time I go near
her at night, or two or three in the morning, she relaxes.
He raised his hand and slammed the table, ‘God damned
chair!’;’; He couldn’t control Zoraida’s sickness and make her
stop going to the rocking chair. He could not comprehend
what she was emotionally feeling and the issues that she had
with him and herself. He became even more upset because he
did not understand why some of the things that she did were
not the ways she treated him.
‘To think my handsome, healthy son, who could have had
any girl he wanted, picked this one.’; (pg. 89) The way
that Castro was raised helped him to be the way he was. His
mother’s mentality of how his son was so handsome and better
than others may have caused Castro to think that he was
superior to others. He may be receiving his confidence
through this mother or it may be that he truly feels that he
is man of many qualities and talents. In a way, the issues
that he is having with his wife and how he constantly brings
up the idea that he is ‘macho’; can be from his insecurity.
He may not be feeling man enough or may be even feeling that
he isn’t being taken care of. It’s a way to attract
attention and to be the center of attention. In this story,
there is a part where he doesn’t understand why she doesn’t
feel certain things with him. ‘Castro remembered how she
always urged him to hurry, be quiet, and get it over with,
on account of the children. A lot she cares about him
tonight! Never in all their years of marriage had she ever
uttered such sounds-he shook his head-or shown any passion
or much interest in doing it.’; (pg. 82) Men believe that
they need to take on the role of a masculine figure, and to
be the best. Through his ‘macho’; attitude, he is portraying
his insecurity indirectly. Physically he may be powerful
and strong, but his mind may be powerless.
Zoraida on the other hand is seen very timid and weak,
but inside she is a woman who contains much strength and
endurance. ‘And, she’s like, well, like a little stick
sparrow flirting with death and having the upperhand.
Quietly stubborn, you know? Now at all submissive like it
might seem to just anybody looking at Zoraida. It’s more as
if nobody’s gonna make the sparrow healthy, but it ain’t
gonna die either…like it’s got the best of both world,
see?’; (pg. 85) Not even knowing who she was Castro was
able to figure out how Zoraida was. This is what attracted
Castro to Zoraida in the beginning.
Her role as a woman was to be a mother and a wife.

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‘She’s clean, hardworking and obedient.’; (pg. 89) Zoraida
takes on her role as a housewife and finds herself only
being a housewife. She is powerless and shy when dealing
with her family. ”Go ahead. Answer, por Dios!’; ‘I…’;
Zoraida cleared her throat in an effort to speak louder.’;
Since her husband is so loud and bold and the opposite from
her, her way of expressing or dealing with life is through
the rocking chair and through the sexual dreams that she had
at night. ‘She looked over at the empty space near the
window. It was gone. She wouldn’t be able to sit there
anymore and meet all her suitors and be beautiful.’; (pg.

95) Her rocking chair was a part of her and was a part of
her imaginary world that she created after she stopped
having the sexual dreams. For her to create this imaginary
world, she was lacking something from her husband or from
life. Although her husband is a hard worker, he does not
make her happy. This is where she is in control and where
she can be the most happy and away from all her troubles.
‘Lately, it had become the one place where she felt she
could be herself, where she could really be free.’; (pg. 94)
She could never be who she really wanted to be because of
her husband. She was slowly giving up and withdrawing from
her family and life itself.
As a woman, you are to be strong, but Zoraida wasn’t
strong. She depended on a rocking chair to get through her
life troubles. She could not even depend on her own husband
who is supposed to be the male figure in her life.
Zoraida’s mother on the other hand was different from her
own daughter. The relationship that her parents have are
much different, they depend on each other and look to each
other for support. ‘Listen to me,’; Don Isidro spoke in a
firm voice, ‘if it’s the chair that bothers you, then we’ll
take it back home with us. Right, Mama?’; He turned to Dona
Clara who nodded emphatically. ‘There should be no
objection to that, eh?’; (pg. 93) Seeing this, her parents
have a balanced relationship where one or the other does not
have more power in the family.
Looking at it from a different point of view, the way
she was raised could be a factor in why she was so shy and
quiet. ‘But, he too was lucky to get our Zoraida. After
all, we brung her up proper and right.’; (pg. 90) Growing
up, Zoraida may have been pampered and well taken care of
especially since she was born premature. ‘The miracle
baby,’; they had said, ‘Mr. Cuesta, your daughter is a
miracle. She should not be alive.’; (pg. 90) Hearing this,
any parent would have given their best to their child for
the reason that their own child may have not made it. Since
their child was born premature, this could be a reason why
she is so thin. ‘Don Isidro sighed, the mother of three
children and she hasn’t filled out …she still have the
body of a twelve-year old. Well, after all, she was born
premature, weighing only two pounds at birth.’; (pg. 90) Her
thin like appearance can give people the impression that she
is weak physically and weak mentally. This could have been
the cause of why she was quiet and reserved.
Appearances and personalities play a huge role of how
the man and the woman will respond and how they will be
treated. Some people are so blind that they will never see
who the person really is inside and how he/she is truly
feeling or what he/she may be thinking. Society usually has
a part in deciding how the male and the female will be and
the roles that they take up in their relationship together.
In this case, it seems as if Castro and Zoraida were given
certain roles to play in the story. It has to do with their
environment when they were growing up and how they were
raised. The way they were treated was the result of how they
turned out to be when they got older. Castro being the
macho and confident male figure while Zoraida being the
quiet and the coy female figure, there was no balance with
their personalities. One would always be stronger than the
other. Zoraida accepted her life for what it was and as the
female role that she played, she would have to be obedient
to her husband while he tried to take control of himself and
his wife.


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