Before, men weretreated with more respect and superiority, while women hadno voices or say in the events that took place in theirsociety. Today, there are situations where men are takenmore seriously than women, but slowly, women are beingtreated with respect and play an active role in theircommunity and have involved themselves within theircommunity. In certain cases the roles never change becausethe people do not change along with the society. In thosecases, the roles are usually permanent because of theircharacter or personalities and how they were raised.
Theways that some people were raised and their environment arethe direct cause to why they may be the way they are. ‘AuntRosana’s Rocker’; by Nicholasa Mohr presents a story where itdiscusses the lives of a married couple and how they arestruggling with issues that involve not only the marriage,but themselves. In a way, it does not directly talk aboutthe different roles they play, but it can be seen andunderstood through the events that take place and throughthe way the characters act. Castro, who is one of the main characters of the storyis married to Zoraida.
Zoraida’s husband, Castro, is thehead of the family and is the one who is working andsupporting the family. ‘He had even considered sleeping onthe living room couch, but he would not be driven out of hisown bed. He was still a man after all, a macho, master ofhis home, someone to be reckoned with, not be pushed out. ‘; (Aunt Rosana’s Rocker pg. 81) Castro is a masculine figureand takes on the role of the husband. He supports and takescare of his family, but the character thinks of himself morethan a caretaker.
He is prideful and arrogant. As a malefigure it is understandable that they may take on the roleof someone who is confident and strong, but Castro takes ita step further by implying that he is the only one who iscapable of handling matters and is someone who only thinksabout himself. There would be times that Castro would be portrayed assomeone who is patient and understanding, but underneaththat disguise he was a man who had intentions and only caredfor his own well being. ‘Putting down his hands, Castroopened his eyes.
All he could do was wait patiently, as healways did, wait for her to finish. ‘; (Aunt Rosana’s Rockerpg. 81) ‘He had no slept properly since this whole affairstarted. After all, he had to drive out to New Jersey toearn his living and his strength and sleep were being sappedaway.
(pg. 81) He would even tell his family good thingsabout his wife, but he was only doing so that he couldbenefit from it. As a male figure, Castro wanted control andwanted to have control of others. ”Every time I go nearher at night, or two or three in the morning, she relaxes.
He raised his hand and slammed the table, ‘God damnedchair!’;’; He couldn’t control Zoraida’s sickness and make herstop going to the rocking chair. He could not comprehendwhat she was emotionally feeling and the issues that she hadwith him and herself. He became even more upset because hedid not understand why some of the things that she did werenot the ways she treated him. ‘To think my handsome, healthy son, who could have hadany girl he wanted, picked this one. ‘; (pg.
89) The waythat Castro was raised helped him to be the way he was. Hismother’s mentality of how his son was so handsome and betterthan others may have caused Castro to think that he wassuperior to others. He may be receiving his confidencethrough this mother or it may be that he truly feels that heis man of many qualities and talents. In a way, the issuesthat he is having with his wife and how he constantly bringsup the idea that he is ‘macho’; can be from his insecurity. He may not be feeling man enough or may be even feeling thathe isn’t being taken care of. It’s a way to attractattention and to be the center of attention.
In this story,there is a part where he doesn’t understand why she doesn’tfeel certain things with him. ‘Castro remembered how shealways urged him to hurry, be quiet, and get it over with,on account of the children. A lot she cares about himtonight! Never in all their years of marriage had she everuttered such sounds-he shook his head-or shown any passionor much interest in doing it. ‘; (pg. 82) Men believe thatthey need to take on the role of a masculine figure, and tobe the best.
Through his ‘macho’; attitude, he is portrayinghis insecurity indirectly. Physically he may be powerfuland 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 andendurance. ‘And, she’s like, well, like a little sticksparrow flirting with death and having the upperhand. Quietly stubborn, you know? Now at all submissive like itmight seem to just anybody looking at Zoraida. It’s more asif nobody’s gonna make the sparrow healthy, but it ain’tgonna die either.
. . like it’s got the best of both world,see?’; (pg. 85) Not even knowing who she was Castro wasable to figure out how Zoraida was. This is what attractedCastro to Zoraida in the beginning. Her role as a woman was to be a mother and a wife.
‘She’s clean, hardworking and obedient. ‘; (pg. 89) Zoraidatakes on her role as a housewife and finds herself onlybeing a housewife. She is powerless and shy when dealingwith 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 fromher, her way of expressing or dealing with life is throughthe rocking chair and through the sexual dreams that she hadat night.
‘She looked over at the empty space near thewindow. It was gone. She wouldn’t be able to sit thereanymore and meet all her suitors and be beautiful. ‘; (pg. 95) Her rocking chair was a part of her and was a part ofher imaginary world that she created after she stoppedhaving the sexual dreams. For her to create this imaginaryworld, she was lacking something from her husband or fromlife.
Although her husband is a hard worker, he does notmake her happy. This is where she is in control and whereshe can be the most happy and away from all her troubles. ‘Lately, it had become the one place where she felt shecould be herself, where she could really be free. ‘; (pg. 94) She could never be who she really wanted to be because ofher husband.
She was slowly giving up and withdrawing fromher family and life itself. As a woman, you are to be strong, but Zoraida wasn’tstrong. She depended on a rocking chair to get through herlife troubles. She could not even depend on her own husbandwho is supposed to be the male figure in her life.
Zoraida’s mother on the other hand was different from herown daughter. The relationship that her parents have aremuch different, they depend on each other and look to eachother for support. ‘Listen to me,’; Don Isidro spoke in afirm voice, ‘if it’s the chair that bothers you, then we’lltake it back home with us. Right, Mama?’; He turned to DonaClara who nodded emphatically. ‘There should be noobjection to that, eh?’; (pg. 93) Seeing this, her parentshave a balanced relationship where one or the other does nothave more power in the family.
Looking at it from a different point of view, the wayshe was raised could be a factor in why she was so shy andquiet. ‘But, he too was lucky to get our Zoraida. Afterall, we brung her up proper and right. ‘; (pg.
90) Growingup, Zoraida may have been pampered and well taken care ofespecially since she was born premature. ‘The miraclebaby,’; they had said, ‘Mr. Cuesta, your daughter is amiracle. She should not be alive.
‘; (pg. 90) Hearing this,any parent would have given their best to their child forthe reason that their own child may have not made it. Sincetheir child was born premature, this could be a reason whyshe is so thin. ‘Don Isidro sighed, the mother of threechildren and she hasn’t filled out . .
. she still have thebody of a twelve-year old. Well, after all, she was bornpremature, weighing only two pounds at birth. ‘; (pg. 90) Herthin like appearance can give people the impression that sheis weak physically and weak mentally. This could have beenthe cause of why she was quiet and reserved.
Appearances and personalities play a huge role of howthe man and the woman will respond and how they will betreated. Some people are so blind that they will never seewho the person really is inside and how he/she is trulyfeeling or what he/she may be thinking. Society usually hasa part in deciding how the male and the female will be andthe roles that they take up in their relationship together. In this case, it seems as if Castro and Zoraida were givencertain roles to play in the story. It has to do with theirenvironment when they were growing up and how they wereraised. The way they were treated was the result of how theyturned out to be when they got older.
Castro being themacho and confident male figure while Zoraida being thequiet and the coy female figure, there was no balance withtheir personalities. One would always be stronger than theother. Zoraida accepted her life for what it was and as thefemale role that she played, she would have to be obedientto her husband while he tried to take control of himself andhis wife.