“The House on Mango Street” by Sandra Cisneros

The House on Mango Street is a novel written by Mexican-American writer Sandra Cisneros. Cisneros depicts the life of a twelve-year-old girl, Esperanza, who within a year transforms into a woman. She outlines Esperanzar’s life as she grows hips, starts to be curious about boys, evolves emotionally, and suffers sexual assault. In The House on Mango Street, Cisneros uses the recurring theme of maturity to illustrate Esperanza’s transition from adolescence to womanhood.

Throughout the vignettes of the novel, Esperanza overcomes several hardships which cause her to grow up quicker than she should. At a young age, she feels ashamed of everything she was given such as her hair and even her name. She frequently feels very different from her family. For example, in Hairs she says And me, my hair is lazy. It never obeys barrettes or bands (Cisneros, 6). She is constantly comparing herself to her family. More than just her looks affect her feelings on the differences between her and her family. She views her name as just a muddy color and compares it to songs like sobbing(Cisneros 10). This displays Esperanza’s insecurity while being a young lady trying to identify herself. The people she continuously surrounds herself with are growing much quicker than she is. In the chapter “”The Family of Little Feet””, Esperanza has one of her first encounter with males noticing her. In this chapter, she puts on high heels to take a walk around her block, and with these heels, Esperanza gains more confidence in herself. Esperanzar’s new sprout of confidence is shown as she brags, Down the corner where the men can’t take their eyes off us. We must be Christmas (Cisneros 40). Many would see the problem with little girls talking to older men in the street however, Esperanza was stuck in the moment and her friends did not see the negative outlooks of the situation. As the book continues this event takes effect on her in the long run when she wants to change her appearance. This new found confidence she felt at the moment will stay with her forever as she continues her journey with boys.

Esperanza then begins to want to change physically as a woman. In the chapter of “”Hips”” where she talks about having hips and how it would let you know which skeleton when it was a man and which a woman’s(Cisneros 50). She is looking at things most kids wouldn’t look at. One of her biggest role models is Marin, gets the attention of most boys and knows how to get them to do what she wants. At a young age, Esperanza wants that for herself. Surrounding herself with girls who are older affect the way she wants life to happen for herself. Reality kicks in and she gets a job. In The First Job she gets her first kiss in the oddest way possible. She was confused as well the novel says, I thought I would because he was so old and just as I was about to put my lips on his cheek, he grabs my face with both hands and kisses me hard on the mouth and doesn’t let go(Cisneros 55). As she matures there are a lot of bumps on the way.

Yet sometimes change can be for the better. In Papa Who Wakes Up Tired In The Dark Esperanza has to act like the older person because of what is going on around her. She changes emotionally and matures for the better. In this chapter, her grandfather dies and she tells herself that she … will have to explain why we can’t play(Cisneros 57). She is bringing it upon herself to be strong for her father. Esperanza is even comforting her father the way she never did. This chapter seems to be a major emotional breakthrough for Esperanza. The many deaths Esperanza has come face to face with has shaped her into a young woman. Her Aunt Lupe dies and before that happened her aunt had given her some advice which she just now learns to understand. She is realizing herself how precious life is. Staying on the page of experience, Esperanza is noticing things much more quickly than usual. She notices her friend dealing with a case of domestic violence. Esperanza describes it like this, A girl that big, a girl who comes in with her pretty face all beaten and black can’t be falling off the stairs. He never hits me hard(Cisneros 92). Esperanza, no older than 13, sees the things her friends are going through, which is not typical of her. In Red Clowns she has a similar encounter with a man. This time it hit harder than ever before. She was abused sexually and felt abandoned by her friend. In Red Clowns Esperanza says Sally, you lied, you lied. He wouldn’t let me go. He said I love you, I love you Spanish girl(Cisneros 100). This quote makes it seem that Esperanza was in a situation she didn’t want to be in. The many hardships that she faces changes her into who she soon becomes and the man in this chapter changed her for the worst.

These obstacles have matured Esperanza whether she liked it or not. Towards the end of the novel, she expresses They will not know I have gone away to come back. For the ones, I left behind. For the ones who cannot out(Cisneros 110). Esperanza has grown to see the world differently as she transitioned into womanhood. She has changed socially, physically, and emotionally. Yet, she is optimistic and will come back for the ones she loves.

Life of a Young Girl in “The House on Mango Street”

The House on Mango Street is a piece written by Sandra Cisneros, an American of Mexican Heritage. It was published in 1984 and details a year in the life of a young girl, Esperanza Cordero, who moves to Mango Street, a Mexican enclave of Chicago, at the age of twelve. The story deals with relationships, family, neighborhood and the aspirations of the main character to own her own house.

The house that she and her family move into is the very first house they have owned, but Esperanza is disappointed with its dilapidated state and longs to own her own house. The House on Mango Street is a coming of age novel that explores the challenges of being different and the drive to carve out a place for yourself in the world as a young Latino woman.

Esperanza and her family, comprised of her father, mother, her younger sister, and two younger brothers moved to a house on Mango Street. It is the first house that they own as a family, and is located in an impoverished section of Chicago, Illinois. The family has lived in many different places, and Esperanza ponders on how much they have moved around throughout the years. Although she is glad that they own a house, she is disappointed by it because it is not what she expected, even though it is a significant improvement from their previous residence.

On moving to Mango Street, Esperanza makes new friends, among them Rachael and Lucy, who live along the same street. She, alongside her sister and her newfound friends, explore the neighborhood and have many adventures in the process. On the verge of adolescence, the girls feel sexually vulnerable at times, such as when they stroll around their neighborhood in high heeled shoes. (Burcar, High heels as a disciplinary practice of femininity in Sandra Cisnerosr’s The House on Mango Street 9).

Esperanza experiences this sexual vulnerability first-hand when she is kissed by a much older man at her first job. In The First Job Esperanza talks about how she is taken advantage of by her boss at work, I thought that I would because he was so old and just as I was about to put lips on his cheek, he grabs my face with both hands and kisses me hard on the mouth and doesnt let go. (Cisneros 55). Esperanza doesnt speak of this again, but her adolescence is tainted by it. Esperanza describes one of her friends who influences her in more ways than she knows when it comes to understanding her sexuality. Esperanza goes on to describe all the things that Marin teaches her, She is the one who told us how Daveyr’s the Babyr’s sister got pregnant and what cream is best for taking off moustache hair and if you count the white flecks on your fingernails you can know how many boys (Cisneros 27). Marin is viewed as someone who is lives a fun rebelious lifestyle, and Esperanza looks up to her superior knowledge of womanhood. Ultimately her beliefs and her perception of people are changed.

For the first half of the year, the girls are still firmly rooted in childhood and are more than excited to make the very most of their youth. They play games such as skipping rope and ride their shared bicycle around the neighborhood, as well as explore the local junk shop. Esperanza goes to school but feels outcasted there because she is embarrassed by her uncommon name and ashamed because her family is poor. Esparanza has trouble fitting in at school and at home, but she continues to grow up and find her way of fitting in.

However, over the summer, Esperanza slowly loses her childhood to puberty. Physically, sexually and emotionally she matures significantly (Cruz 916). For the first time, she is excited boys begin watching her dance and takes great pleasure in fantasizing about them. Her hips grow, and she experiences her first crush. During this period, she is sexually assaulted and starts to write in a bid to escape the neighborhood and as a means of self-expression. She only shares the poems she pens with the trusted, mature women in her life. Her bond and affinity for the adults are strengthened when her grandfather and aunt passed away, and she starts to pay close attention to the women along Mango Street. She realizes that they are more stuck in their houses and situations than she is.

Esperanza explains that she is named after her grandmother, a headstrong woman who refused to be married until her great-grandfather literally kidnapped her and married her forcefully. After that, her grandmother spent her days gazing sadly out of a window. She and her grandmother were born in the Chinese year of the horse, which is supposed to be unlucky for women. Esperanza refuses to believe this and states that she thinks the story of the name is a lie made up by men who are uncomfortable with strong women. She worries that she will inherit both her great-grandmotherr’s name and sorrow. She fears that she will be stuck, just like her great-grandmother and the women on Mango Street.

At the start of the school year, Esperanza becomes friends with a girl named Sally, who is more sexually mature and experienced than Esperanza. Sally is abused by her father and uses boys as an escape mechanism, and this makes Esperanza uncomfortable. Their friendship results in Esperanza being sexually assaulted by some boys when Sally leaves her alone. This incidence, along with the lives of the women Esperanza befriends on her street, reinforces Esperanzar’s desire to move away from Mango Street and to live a more fulfilling life.

When, however, she is strong enough emotionally to leave, Esperanza is unable to do so fully, and she realizes that she will never be able to detach herself completely because she feels the need to help the women of Mango Street. By the end of the year, she has matured tremendously, and her desire to relocate is even stronger. She uses writing to escape emotionally from Mango Street with all its challenges and appreciates that writing will eventually help her to escape physically as well in the future.

The House on Mango Street is a study in contrasts. Although it is a continuous story, it is broken down into vignettes that are part of the whole but can be read on their own. This is a representation of the characters in the novel, who lead separate lives yet come together to weave the story in the book. The vignettes are of varying lengths, indicative of the different kinds of impact the different characters have on Esperanza (Sun 2370). The vignettes differing lengths is also mirrored by the way Esperanza tells her story, in disjointed, broken sentences. The different lengths give the narration a choppy feel, which reflects perfectly Esperanzar’s life, which is far from smooth and even-keeled.

Through the narration, one gets a glimpse of a Mexican womanr’s life, which appears oppressed and full of longing. This is brought out in Marinr’s life, who is confined to the compound and has to sneak out of the house to be herself, through dancing under the street lights. It is seen in Esperanzar’s great-grandmother, who is kidnapped and forced into marriage, and spends the rest of her life wallowing in her misery. Esperanzar’s great-grandmother gives the impression of being a prisoner of circumstances, an impression reinforced by the fact that she was forced into marriage, and hence into the life she lived. This confinement is seen in Esperanzar’s wanting to get a house of her own, quiet and clean as an unmarked paper. This could be interpreted as Esperanza wanting to make a clean break from her current life and start fresh, unburdened by her past or aspects of her current life (Cruz 930).

Esperanzar’s desire to escape her life is seen in her desire to write her own story, a desire to almost rewrite her history. Her community places a certain expectation on women, and she feels the need to break free of these expectations. She also wants to run away from the poverty of her neighborhood and the oppressive expectations and living conditions of the society. Women in her locality have limited options, and their only major recourse seems to be marriage, and Esperanza is keen to broaden her prospects, hence her desire to escape.

Marin personifies the drive to pursue oner’s happiness regardless of oner’s circumstances. She models for Esperanza the fact that no one is stuck to particular circumstances and it is a personr’s responsibility to pursue his or her dreams and happiness. This is particularly emotional when contrasted with the women on Mango Street whose lives seem to be stuck beyond a certain level. It answers Esperanzar’s motherr’s statement where she declares sadly, that she could have been somebody.

Through glimpses into the lives of Esperanzar’s neighbors, we get to see a full picture of what life is on Mango Street and the ramifications of the different decisions made by certain characters. Through the actions taken by the other older women and the consequences of those actions, Esperanza is presented with many paths to choose from, with the consequences played out in front for her. In a way, the lives of the older women act as a roadmap for her.

Another key theme in this book is choice. In Mango Street, people make different choices and bear the consequences. Characters who resign themselves to their circumstances are pictured as stuck and unhappy, while others, such as Marin, work hard to grasp at shreds of happiness and strive to make their desired life a reality at any cost. Although negative things do happen, such as Sally being abused by her father, ultimately, everybody has some sort of choice in how he or she responds to the circumstances. This concept is mainly brought out in Esperanzar’s desire to move out of the neighborhood and her belief that writing may be her ticket out of Mango Street

Another theme is the pursuit of self-identity, which influences everything that Esperanza does. She defines herself as a writer as well as a woman, although her perception of both changes as the novel progresses. At first, Esperanza wants to change her name to something that is less difficult to pronounce, and that would tie her to her family, and acquire another one she feels defines whom she thinks she is. She wants to move to her own house where she can forge her own identity (Burcar , Fluminensia: Journal for Philological Research 121). After she becomes sexually aware, Esperanza wants to be beautiful, so as to be attractive, but cruel enough that men will not try to hurt her. To this end, she becomes friends with Sally, who is more sexually experienced. However, after her sexual assault, she no longer wants to be cruel and beautiful and is unsure of how to define herself as a strong woman.

Eventually, Esperanza stops trying to separate herself from her family, heritage, and neighborhood by acquiring a new name and accepts her position in the community. She no longer forces herself to develop sexually when she is not ready and chooses to define herself regarding her writing. Esperanza learns that the important thing is not how others see you or define you externally, but how you view and define yourself on the inside.

On Mango Street, gender roles are entrenched, and men have no issues with beating up their wives and daughters or confining them to the house. Being a female is enough to justify beatings and rape, as in Esperanzar’s case at the carnival. Esperanza fights this stereotype by rejecting gender roles, refusing marriage and by not acting like a powerless female, as expected by her community. By rejecting stereotypes, Esperanza reclaims her freedom and gains a sense of power.

Friendship runs course throughout the book. Esperanza feels isolated and strives to address this by seeking out friendships. She has many types of friendships, those of her peers and older women. As she matures, so does the depth and intensity of her friendships. At first, friendship entails sharing a bike and playing together and blossoms into something that depends upon much more substance and shared values. Esperanza feels that women are isolated and should, therefore, be responsible to look out for each other.

Femininity is a major part of The House on Mango Street, and Esperanza strives to understand it, especially with her dawning adolescence. She notices that beauty is the basis of feminine power and envies the beauty of the women close to her. However, she realizes that beauty is not a guaranteed source of power. She strives to gain power that is more enduring, and which grants her freedom hence her interest in writing.

Sandra Cisneros uses simple but poetic language to communicate, and this gives The House on Mango Street an interesting tone. She includes Spanish phrases that give the narrative authenticity and color. The break from proper grammar and the use of slang adds to its authenticity and immediacy and draws the reader in as though he or she is part of the story. Although the story is told in the voice of a young girl, it is convincing and believable because of the language used and the details provided.

Sandra Cisneros grabs the readerr’s interest by wandering from one subject to another and introducing a bunch of different characters briefly. The reader is drawn into the story because it feels so light and immediate. This seeming randomness explores different themes such as identity, loss, escape love, friendship, and roles without seeming to. Her style addresses taboo subjects such as violence and sexual assault matter-of-factly yet sensitively, without making the subject a victim or a statistic. She explores sexual inequality and oppression without apportioning blame. In short, through her writing, the reader feels as though they are looking into peopler’s houses and glimpsing bits and pieces of their lives. This makes The House on Mango Street feel more real and authentic to the person reading.

The House on Mango Street is a narrative that addresses culture. It points out the challenges that Chicanos face and the derogatory stereotypes they encounter and perpetuate. The writer uses language as a metaphor for the divide that exists between Mexican Americans and the rest of the country. Language and culture play a part in segregating Chicanos but what keeps them isolated is mainly racism and poverty, which ultimately brings shame. Therefore, the isolation is brought on them by people of other cultures and by the Chicanos themselves.

The House on Mango Street strives to capture the sense of being different experienced by people when they move from their original home. It brings out the challenges faced by women especially, more so young girls, who may not feel that they are good enough. It captures perfectly the challenges immigrants face because of being poor, different and from a different culture (Sun 2370). The book strives to show that being different need not be a source of embarrassment. Rather, it can be a source of celebration and pride.

The House on Mango Street is a call to embrace oneself fully regardless of oner’s current circumstances. It explores the challenges that come with being different and the consequences of letting fate run its course. It explores the challenges young girls face when they are coming of age, and addresses the choices they make and the likely consequences of those choices. The narrative also points out that circumstances are not set in stone and can be changed if one is ready and willing to do everything it takes.

Gender Roles in “The House On Mango Street”

Gender roles are a significant component in The House On Mango Street, by Sandra Cisneros. From the outset of the novel, Esperanza faces an identity crisis as she develops from a girl into a woman. Throughout her life, Esperanza experiences the differences between genders, specifically after moving in.

She observes the girls and women living in her neighborhood and begins to internalize the social standing of women compared to that of men. Throughout her life on Mango Street, Esperanza crosses paths with a variety of female role models including Marin, Minerva, Rafaela, and Sally, who are each going through their own crises. Unlike these four women, Esperanza resists these gender norms that are rooted in the community.

At the beginning of the novel, Esperanza realizes the differences in social standings between males and females. At a young age, she already witnesses that the boys and the girls live in separate worlds because her brothers refuse to be seen talking to Esperanza and Nenny outside the house (Cisneros 8). The brothers are afraid that if the other boys in the neighborhood see them, they will be judged or mocked, which is the first sign Esperanza recognizes that portrays the differences in gender.

Even though Esperanza was raised in the same culture and community as the other women on Mango Street, she does not wish to follow in the footsteps of the women in her family. Esperanza goes against this gender norm by refusing to inherit her [great-grandmotherr’s] place by the window and does not want to be trapped like her grandmother once was (Cisneros 11). Also, she believes that the myth that it was bad luck if someone was a horse woman was because the Chinese, like the Mexicans, dont like their women strong (Cisneros 10). Her observations about gender expand to a cultural aspect, believing that men in certain cultures refuse to allow the women to be strong, like her grandmother once was. It is clearly seen that manr’s machismo [is] solely responsible for the Mexican-American womenr’s domestic entrapment because before Esperanzar’s grandfather forced her grandmother to marry him, she was an independent, wild woman, who had a sense of freedom (Burcar 121). Afterwards, she looked out the window her whole life, the way so many women sit their sadness on an elbow (Cisneros 11). Due to this confinement, her grandmother was never allowed live life the way she wanted to and lost her own identity to her husband.

Esperanza encounters Marin, who is a young girl Puerto Rican immigrant who left her family in order to come to Chicago and take care of her Cousin Louier’s family. Marin is a story that is reflective of the predetermined attitude that has been instilled in the mind of many young women because her main thoughts focus on duty, boys, and marriage, which is something very common amongst the female roles in Esperanzar’s life (Alfaro 18). Marin is not allowed a regular childhood because, as a female, she is forced to take care of the children in the household: She can’t come out gotta baby-sit with Louie’s sisters but she stands in the doorway, a lot, all the time singing (Cisneros 23-24). Not only is Marin obligated to taking care of Louier’s sisters, but she is also forced to see the other kids enjoying their childhood outside, unlike Marin who is forced to confinement. However, even when her aunt comes home, Marin is still not allowed outside the front yard. She is restricted to the house and therefore lacks the sense of freedom, just like most women in the neighborhood.

Since Marinr’s life in Chicago is valued solely upon the role as a babysitter, she relies on her physical appearance to attract the attention and appreciation she yearns:

What matters, Marin says, is for the boys to see us and for us to see them. And since Marin’s skirts are shorter and since her eyes are pretty, and since Marin is already older than us in many ways, the boys who do pass by say stupid things like I am in love with those two green apples you call eyes, give them to me why don’t you. And Marin just looks at them without even blinking and is not afraid. Marin, under the streetlight, dancing by herself, is singing the same song somewhere. I know. Is waiting for a car to stop, a star to fall, someone to change her life. (Cisneros 27)

Marinr’s perspective on life and the future was implanted in her mind growing up in a male dominated community, both in Puerto Rico and on Mango Street. She was raised in the belief that a woman needs the attention of a man to fulfill her life and therefore behaves as if she was an object for men to take away. She is mainly concerned for her physical appearance as she dresses not for herself, but rather to receive the attention of males passing by. She purposely wears a short skirt and makeup to get men to notice her. Marin assumes that if she does not stand outside, with an attractive appearance, then she will never find a husband on whom she must depend on.

Marin also talks about getting a job downtown, something that Esperanza has always wanted. However, Marin does not get the job for a sense of responsibility, but instead she will always get to look beautiful and get to wear nice clothes and can meet someone on the subway who might marry [her] and take [her] to live in a big house far away. (Cisneros 26). Again, Marin solely relies her daily choices on finding a man to marry and to take care of her. Meanwhile, Esperanza does not see it this way, because she has always dreamt of living in a big home to call her own, therefore Esperanza strives to be like Marin, and leave Mango Street one day.

Minerva is a young mother, not much older than Esperanza, who has two children, with an abusive husband who constantly leaves her and beats her black and blue. By Minerva raising her two children alone, she is following in her own motherr’s unstructured lifestyle, which females were usually expected to do (Alfaro 40). However, she keeps letting her husband back into her life once he apologizes, which displays the control men had over women and how women believed they were weak without a male in their lives. Esperanza and Minerva bond over their shared interest in writing poetry, but Minervar’s poetry saddens Esperanza, who realizes that she is not the only one on Mango Street who feels trapped. Like Esperanza, Minerva’s writing is a way to escape the harsh reality of her life. She folds her poems up over and over and hold[s] them in her hands for a long time, just like the emotional distress she keeps bottled up (Cisneros 84). She never gets to fully express her emotions about her life due to the fact that she is basically a single mom who is always busy with either her children or housework.

Rafaela is a young woman, who sacrificed her freedom for love. She is married to an oppressive man who is afraid that Rafaela will run away since she is too beautiful to look at (Cisneros 79). Therefore, scared that she will find someone better, he locks Rafaela indoors and forces her to be confined to their apartment as a prisoner. Hence Rafaela leans out the window and leans on her elbow, unhappy with her situation Rafaela wishes for a better lifestyle than the one she has now. The only thing she can do is stare out the window and yell for the children, who are her only means of communication with the outside world. However, even if Rafaela escaped this bitter reality, she would still end up finding a man who is controlling because there is always someone offering sweeter drinks, someone promising to keep them on a silver string (Cisneros 80). At first, a man might seem kind and sweet, however once they have the woman, they turn into a sour and cruel human being. Rafaela just wishes to come and go on her own terms and to be able to open homes with keys, but instead she is a prisoner in her own home without the opportunity to live life(Cisneros 80).

Esperanza notices Sally for her eye makeup and dark nylons and is drawn to her due to her physical appearance. The first description of Sally is that she has eyes like Egypt and nylons the color of smoke. (Cisneros 81). As most girls do not wear as much makeup or as dark nylons, Esperanza is clearly drawn to outliers who stand out from the others. She also notices that all the boys at school think sher’s beautiful because her hair is shiny black, but not because of her inside beauty, but rather for her physical qualities (Cisneros 81). Sally wears black, which can be predetermined as a color that shows confidence and attractiveness. However, Esperanzar’s mother says to wear black so young is dangerous (Cisneros 82). Afraid that her daughter will attract the attention of men, Esperanzar’s mother refuses to let her wear such a bold and confident color that would only cause destruction in her life.

Sally also tells Esperanza about her father, who is an abusive and controlling male figure. He believes that to be this beautiful is trouble and forbids Sally from going out. Confining his daughter because of her physical appearance is similar to what Rafaelar’s husband did to her, which is a constant recurrence in the female life. At the end of each school day, Sally pulls her skirt down, rubs the makeup off her eyes and hurries back to the house [she] cant come out from. (Cisneros 82). Sally is trapped in her house by her strict, conservative father, similarly to how the rest of the women of Mango Street are trapped in their homes. Sallyr’s father beats her when she doesnt obey to his strict rules, and her mother doesnt stop him. Instead, her mama rubs lard on all the places it hurts, trying to hide and protect the fact that her husband is beating their daughter (Cisneros 92). Yet, Sally continues to defend her father to Esperanza, constantly saying that he never hits [her] hard, neglecting the fact that his actions are wrong. The girls and women tend not to rebel against the men in their lives and choose to persist through the menr’s unacceptable behavior. Even when Sally tries to run away and stays with Esperanza, her father apologizes and Sally accepts right away. The next day, she is caught disobeying her fatherr’s rules and he just forgot he was her father between the buckle and the belt (Cisneros 93). Similar to Minerva, Sally forgives her father quickly, thinking he will change, but the men do not change their actions towards the females in their lives no matter what.

In an effort to escape her abusive father, Sallyr’s only option was to marry young. At the beginning of the marriage, Sally displays a happy demeanor when speaking about how she has her husband and her house now, her pillowcase and her plates, but her happiness seems to stem more from the material possessions she now has, rather than the actual love she has found. Now that Sally obtains all these inanimate objects that she can have control over, she finally feels like she has control over her own life. However, not far along into the marriage, her spouse becomes the man that she was originally trying to flee from. At a certain point he becomes so violent that once he broke the door his foot went through (Cisnero 101). Little by little, Sallyr’s husband is becoming just like her father. He becomes extremely controlling and doesnt let her talk on the telephone. And he doesnt let her look out the window and nobody gets to visit her (Cisneros 102). Unlike the other women throughout the novel, Sally is not allowed to look out the window, which shows the different levels of captivity women endured. However, Sally, like other women throughout the novel, loses her freedom quickly to a man she assumed would save her.

Throughout the novel, mistreatment of women is seen in various family situations, and it is believed that girls will follow in the footsteps of their female ancestors. However, Esperanzar’s mother refuses to let her daughter make the same mistakes she did and tells her to go to school and to study hard. Her mother had a successful past with many talents in the liberal arts, yet, she quit school because [she] didnt have nice clothes. No clothes, but [she] had brains (Cisneros 91). Women are not judged by personality or smarts, but rather they are categorized based on appearance, which can make them feel self-conscious and lead them into an unhappy lifestyle, like Esperanzar’s mother.

Towards the end of the novel, Esperanzar’s actions and words rebel against the idea of belonging in a male dominated household. She refuses to grow up tame like the others who lay their necks on the threshold waiting for the ball and chain, instead she will be the one who leaves the table like a man, without putting back the chair or picking up the plate (Cisneros 88-89). Esperanza does not want to end up like the rest of the women on Mango Street, who are stuck and cannot escape the wrath of patriarchy, therefore she makes the decision to follow in her own footsteps instead of her motherr’s. She does not sit around and wait for a man to change her life, instead she changes her own life and becomes independent. Esperanza expresses that she desires a house of her own, not a manr’s house. Not a daddyr’s, but a house she earned herself in which she does not have to listen to a manr’s rules and can live her life freely (Cisneros 108).

All of the women and girls on Mango Street are stuck, each with their own troubles are crises. Unlike Esperanza, Marin, Minerva, Rafaela, and Sally are waiting for someone or something to change their lives and take them away from Mango Street. The females of Mango Street are stuck, waiting for the decision as to which path they will take. At the conclusion of the novel, Esperanza makes the decision to leave Mango Street for those who cant and escapes the traditional values that are forced upon women in the Mango Street community.

Works Cited

Cisneros, Sandra. The House on Mango Street. 25th ed., Vintage Contemporaries , 2009.

Alfaro, Melissa. The Oppression and Deliverance of Women in Sandra Cisneros The House on Mango Street. Texas Womanr’s University Library, 2006, https://twu-ir.tdl.org/handle/11274/9047?show=full, Accessed 4 December 2018

Burcar, Lilijana, Ethnicizing in Womenr’s Domestic Entrapment in Sandra in Sandra Cisneros Anti Bildungsroman The House on Mango Street. Fluminensia: Journal for Philological Research, 2017, https://hrcak.srce.hr/file/282741 Accessed 3 December 2018

The House on Mango Street – Esperanzas Voice

The story of Esperanza is one that many minorities face, even in todayr’s society. Every day she had to deal with things from both a poverty and racist standpoint. She talks about how the poverty she faced affected the way she looked at her self.

She also goes on to talk about how the racial divide she felt, even at a young age, influenced how she felt about the world. Even with all the issues that Esperanza faces, she uses poetry as a means of escape, and uses it to help rebuild her self-confidence. While these problems exist today, we can use The House on Mango Street, and Esperanzar’s story, to look toward the future, and maybe one day, fix this world so no man, woman, or child has to go through the pain and suffering she did.

Throughout The House on Mango Street Esperanza dreams of an escape and is able to find solace through writing and reading poetry. Esperanza talks about the effect of her Aunt Lupe, who she would read stories and poems to. Lupe is the first person to really connect Esperanza to her writing. Her aunt stated, It will keep you free (Cisneros 61). In chapter 29 Four Skinny Trees is when Esperanza is starting to develop a new sense of self and strength. She uses the trees to find inspiration, Four who grew despite concrete. Four who reach and do not forget to reach. Four whose only reason is to be and be (Cisneros 75). As the book keeps progressing Esperanza takes a look at the women surrounding her on Mango Street. Each is trapped in some situation and she take a special interest in Minerva. Minerva is married with two children to a physically abusive husband. Esperanza compares herself to Minerva because they both write poetry. Esperanza notices and decides she will try to avoid Minervar’s path for her future.

Experiences Esperanza encounters with racism also helps to build her character. Racism is something that she is faced with on numerous occasions. In the chapter Those Who Dont Esperanza talks about noticing how people who arent from her Latino neighborhood become scared and that her people of color are dangerous. She believes those who enter her neighborhood and dont belong are often there by mistake. Also, even as a young girl she mentions the change in attitude when going somewhere, in her words, they dont belong. All brown all around, we are safe. But watch us drive into a neighborhood of another color and our knees go skakity-shake and our car windows get rolled up tight and our eyes look straight (Cisneros 28). Later in The House on Mango Street Esperanza has an altercation with Sister Superior at her school about being able to eat in the canteen for lunch. Her mother writes a note stating to please allow her as their house if too far away. The Sisters response was That one? She said, pointing to a row of ugly three-flats, the ones even the raggedy men are ashamed to go into (Cisneros 45). This statement raises the question in the readers mind, why does the Sister assume Esperanza lives in the run-down apartments? One assumption could be based on Esperanza being a little Hispanic girl living a more poverty lifestyle. In some cases, poverty and race intertwines and could be believed that this example shows that correlation.

One factor that shaped Esperanzas character was the poverty her family faced. The first example of their economic status was Esperanza describing her house on Mango Street. She describes the house as bricks crumbling, having an extremely small yard, paint peeling, and wooden bars over the windows (Cisneros 4-5). After describing her house, she talks about a specific incident with a store clerk. Where do you live? She asked. There I said pointing to the third floor. You live there (Cisneros 5)? Esperanza goes on to explain the way the conversation with the clerk made her feel as if she was nothing. This was a pivotal moment in the growth of Esperanzas character. I knew then I had to have a house. A real house (Cisneros 5). Another example of her shame is during a baptism party. Esperanzas mom buys her a new dress, undergarments, and new socks while she is still having the where an old pair of school shoes. Once every year in September she gets a new pair of shoes for school. Esperanza describes the shoes as scuffed and the heals being crooked. It doesnt matter how new the dress mama bought is because my feet are ugly (Cisneros 47). Esperanza feels ordinary having to wear her school shoes and this affects her self-esteem.

The House on Mango Street follows the story of a young girl named Esperanza Cordero. This book takes us through a year of Esperanzar’s life and the growth she experiences. The House on Mango Street talks about the shame Esperanza feels due to her families poverty, the unfairness of the racism she faces, and how beautiful poetry and music can be. The book also shows the lives of some of Esperanzas neighbors. This helps to show the common living condition for Hispanics during this time period. Mamacita is afraid to speak the English language, Alicia has dreams of graduating college while her father wants her to focus on womanly duties, and Minerva who is married with two kids and a husband who is physically abusive. By giving these examples the readers are able the see the male oppression happening around Esperanza which is fueling her dream of leaving Mango Street even more.

Women in “The House on Mango Street”

A female is not weak nor fragile, she is strong and all she needs is a little bit of love. In the novella The House on Mango Street Cisneros uses the motif trapped. Most of the females in The House On Mango Street feel imprisoned by the ones they love most and restricted from living their own life.

This is shown in the vignettes Sally, What Sally Said, Marin and Rafaela Who Drinks Coconut & Papaya Juice on Tuesdays. She uses the vignettes to prove that the theme is no female should be trapped, hurt, or told what to do just to please a male.

Sally was once the beautiful popular girl that every girl wanted to be, and every boy wanted, but no Sally is nothing more than a broken soul. Esperanza notices that Sally is not the girl from yesterday. sally [does not] laugh… look[s] at her feet and walks to the house [she] cannot come out from (Cisneros 82). This shows that Sally is being emotionally and physically trapped by her own father. When sally goes over to Esperanza house and tells her that her dad saw her with a boy, he just went crazy, he forgot he was her father between the buckle and the belt (Cisneros 93), Her own father gets so mad that he just beats without feeling any remorse. Cisneros shows that the motif trapped in sally vignettes by the cycle of abuse.

Marin is just a girl waiting for a miracle to happen to free her from her problems. Marin boyfriend lives in Puerto Rico and they are going to get married when she is back in Puerto Rico she says he [does not] [have] a job yet (Cisneros 26) even though she is the one earning money and saving it for them both. Marin has changed right in front of Ezperanza eyes she just sits in front of the house because she cannot leave because of her aunt, but at night Marin, under the streetlight, dancing by herself… is waiting for a car to stop, a star to fall, someone to change her life (Cisneros 27) Marin is selling herself to solve her money problems just to be with her boyfriend. Marin is trapped in her own money problems just to go to Puerto Rico and be with her boyfriend.

Many young women just want to do what they want to without a man telling them what to do. Cisneros uses the vignette Rafaela Who Drinks Coconut & Papaya Juice On Tuesdays to show that women want to be themselves. Rafaela a beautiful woman still young but getting old from leaning out the window so much, gets locked indoors (Cisneros 79), because her husband thinks she will run away because of her beauty. Her husband leaves her while he goes and plays dominoes even though Rafaela wishes she could go [out] there and dance before she get[s] old (Cisneros 79). All Rafaela wants to do is dance because even she knows she is coming of age from being stuck in the house all the time. At the end of the vignette Ezperanza pities Rafaela and does not want to end up like her. Rafaela is being held hostage in her own house by her lover and cannot escape because she is too beautiful.

The motif in The House On Mango Street is trapped. The women on mango street feel like they are prisoners in their own houses from Sally that can’t leave her house, Marin cannot leave her house also, and Rafaela locked in her own house. The theme Cisneros was trying to get across was that no female should be trapped, hurt, or told what to do just to please a male. Sally goes home and gets beaten to please her father, Marin works and sells herself to solve money problems for her boyfriend, Rafaela gets locked in her house and cannot leave by her husband. These women are being kept enclosed in their own houses just to please a male because back in the days a woman needed a male to survive, it was expected, and these women are affected by this. They should learn that a male is not needed, and they should learn to be independent and fight for their rights.”

The theme of Gender and Sexuality in The House on Mango Street

The House on Mango Street, a fictional novel written by Sandra Cisneros in 2009, takes place in a poor city in Mexico. Esperanza, the narrator and the main character of this novel feels insecure about herself and feels like she doesnt belong in her neighborhood. The book shows how Esperanza has grown throughout the year.

Esperanza maturing from a young self-conscious girl to a strong self-sufficient women. As Esperanza learns new things, she notices the girls and women in her town are concerned about their beauty more than life itself. In their culture the women where taught that you must satisfy a man with your beauty and that looks are the number one priority.Esperanza would like to change the perspective that women have about themselves.

Esperanza, is a young Latina girl that feels like she doesnt belong in society, but while she is in Mango Street recognizes the girls and boys live in separate worlds. Esperanza only has Nenny to socialize with, but is too young to be friends with her and is more of a responsibility than a friend. Someday I will have a best friend all my own. One I can tell my secrets to. One who will understand my jokes without me having to explain them. Until then I am a red balloon, a balloon tied to an anchor (Sandra 9). Esperanza describes herself as a red balloon, a balloon tied to an anchor, because she stands out from everyone else in her neighborhood, but is also in isolation from society. Until one day she finally meets two girls named, Rachel and Lucy, she can finally call friends.

As Esperanza encounters new things as she comes across Mango Street she looks at the number of women that sit at their windows. She looked out the window her whole life, the way so many women sit their sadness on an elbow. I wonder if she made the best with what she got or was she sorry because she couldnt be all the things she wanted to be. Esperanza, I have inherited her name, but I dont want to inherit her place by the window (Sandra 11). Esperanzar’s grandmother was the first women that was trust beside a window. Esperanza knows she doesnt want to be in the same situation other women have put themselves into. The women sitting in their windows give Esperanza an understating of how womenr’s decisions effect their future. Esperanza comes to realize that she doesnt want to put herself in a position of where sher’s looking out the window watching other women live there lives, while not living hers.

Esperanza experiences that Mango Street is a male dominated society and how the women are being treated like second class citizens. In the movies there is always one with red lips who is beautiful and cruel. She is the one who drives the men crazy and laughs them all away. Her power is her own. She will not give it away (Sandra 89). The girls believe that being beautiful is one of the womenr’s most powerful weapon. Esperanza grows to realize that power doesnt not come from beauty, but more from independence and strength. Esperanza observes that girls have trouble choosing between power or sexuality.

This story is to show women that there is so much more in life that beauty. The beliefs that women have in the book is if they dont look beautiful, the women wont have a man. But Esperanza is different from the other girls, she believes in independence has more power than beauty does.

Social Issues in The House on Mango Street

In todayr’s society there are many social problems that everyone tends to face. People are often treated as if they are inferior to others based on different things such as race, ethnicity, and even gender. In the story the House on Mango Street, the author, Sandra Cisneros addresses these issues.

Throughout the story, Cisneros thoroughly explains and displays how these conflicts effect the public. This story is written through the perspective of a young women, Esperanza, who is growing up in a low-class neighborhood. Cisneros indicates the problems with their society expectations including: there expectations of women and how they are treated, the discrimination that is based on their social classes, and the prejudices because of a personr’s ethnicity/race.

The House of Mango Streets views on society are based on a hierarchy. The story displays how women are looked upon as subordinates in a hierarchical society. In this book, Esperanza explains what women and young girls are subjected to, in the chapter What Sally Says Esperanza explains the assault that Sally goes through by her own father. Esperanza states, But Sally doesnt tell about that time he hit her with his hands just like a dog, she said, like if I was an animal. He thinks Im going to run away like his sisters who made the family ashamed. Just because Im a daughter, and then she doesnt say. In order to get away from this life and escape her fatherr’s wrath Sally feels as if she needs to get married young and move on into another lifestyle. Esperanza explains her views on this by stating,Sally got married like we knew she would, young and not ready but just the same. She met a marshmallow salesman at a school bazaar, and she married him in another state where itr’s legal to get married before eighth grade. She has her husband and her house now, her pillowcases and her plates. She says sher’s in love, but I think she did it to escape.

The discrimination based on their social classes is shown in more ways than one. In The House on Mango Street people are treated according to their wealth evidently. Outsiders often look down upon Esperanza and her peers with no reason, except, that they live differently because of the fact that they have less money. In one part of the story Esperanza talks about how strangers percept their world, by saying, Those who dont know any better come into our neighborhood scared. They think that were dangerous. They think we will attack them with shiny knives. They are stupid people who are lost and get here by mistake. This comes to show how outsiders often have misconceptions about people who are different from them and are more so often too quick to judge. This suggestion is shown again when Esperanza is talking to a nun and the nun asks, Where do you live? And Esperanza points it out and then the nun goes to judge and says There? In a rude manner that belittles Esperanza and makes Esperanza feel very embarrassed for being proud that her family is not renting but owns a house for once.

Symbolism in The House on Mango Street

Coming of age is like a plant, starts off as nothing but a seed, small, sweet, and innocent but slowly over time begins to grow into something much bigger. Much like a plant is a person, that can grow and learn and this can be seen in the novel House On Mango Street written by Sandra Cisneros. The beginning of the novel shows the sadness felt by Esperanza having to constantly move from house to house, always having to share, having responsibility of her younger sister Nenny, living in a neighborhood where she feels unwelcomed, struggling with her identity, and finally making friends but not being able to share how she truly feels because they dont understand her experiences.

Towards the middle readers can see a little transformation on the way Esperanza acts and thinks, which is more adult-like. At the end is where Esperanza grows the most she gets a job and learns to deal and cope with multiple deaths. In the novel The House On Mango Street written by Sandra Cisneros uses Figurative language, symbolism, indirect characterization, diction, and selection of details to portray the theme of coming of age and how both good and bad experiences play an important role on how and when someone grows and matures in life.

In the first vignette The House On Mango Street Sandra Cisneros uses a selection of details to show a theme of coming of age and how certain experiences can cause people to grow up in different ways. For one thing, the author states but what I remember most is moving a lot (Cisneros,1). This detail can show readers that moving a lot can mean getting to know a whole new neighborhood, never having real friends, and having to constantly try to make new friends, doing all of this many times can lead to depression and loneliness. This supports the theme of coming of age because it shows how people start off as, which is sad and alone. Another key point, is when the author states Each time there seemed to be one more of us (Cisneros,1). This detail shows that since her family was growing, and not only did she grow up poor, but also had to look after and take care for each child. This ties back to the theme of coming of age because being able to look after someone other than yourself shows responsibility and if someone is responsible then their growing up and beginning to mature. All in all, the theme coming of age occurs multiple times in the text to show that both good and bad experiences are an important factor in growing up, such as being faced with the struggle of moving from house to house and having the responsibility of younger siblings.

In the second vignette Hairs Sandra Cisneros uses figurative language to show the theme of coming of age and how environments and family can play a role on the amount of time it takes someone to mature. To point out, the text states And me, my hair is lazy. It never obeys barrettes or bands (Cisneros,6). This example of personification personifies the author’s hair as lazy, this shows the personality of the author to be lazy and disobedient, never following the rules. This example upholds the theme of coming of age by showing how the author starts off as, as a person, readers will begin to see the transformation from lazy and childlike to adulthood throughout the novel. Another example, stated is But my motherr’s hair, my mother’s hair, like little rosettes, like little candy circles all curly and pretty (Cisneros,6). This example of a simile compares Esperanzar’s motherr’s hair to candy and rosettes, which show the loving, caring, and safe feeling the mother brings to her children. This defends the theme of coming of age because the environment and nature a person is being raised in provides an idea to how the person will grow up and how fast they will mature. All things considered, the Sandra Cisneros successfully uses figurative language to portray the theme of coming of age in her novel and shows how environments in which a person is raised in or lives in can have an effect on how and when a person grows up.

In the third vignette Boys and girls Sandra Cisneros uses symbolism to portray the theme of coming of age and how having siblings or people to look after put people on a fast path to maturity and growing up. For example, the text states And since she comes right after me, she is my responsibility (Cisneros,8). This evidence symbolizes Nenny, Esperanza’s younger sister, to be a responsibility and a chore showing how since she is older than Nenny she is given the responsibility of looking after her. This example supports the theme of coming of age by showing how the responsibility given increases based on how old a person is. Another example, is when the author states Until then I am a red balloon, a balloon tied to an anchor (Cisneros,9). The example symbolizes the color red as her bright and vibrant personality, the balloon as freedom, and being tied to an anchor as having the responsibility of Nenny and the experience of growing up poor on Mango Street. This example confirms the theme of coming of age by showing how Esperanza is growing up and being responsible instead of worrying about herself and following her dream of having a best friend, she takes care and looks after her sister. To conclude, Sandra Cisneros does a good job portraying the theme coming of age in her novel The House On Mango Street and showing readers how people who have siblings may mature faster than those who don’t because they are given the responsibility of looking after others.

In the fourth vignette My Name Sandra Cisneros uses indirect characterization to show the theme coming of age and how thinking of oner’s future and trying not to follow in someoner’s wrong path of life shows growth and maturity. For example, the text states I would like to baptize myself under a new name, a name more like the real me, the one nobody sees (Cisneros,11). This example shows that Esperanza is lost, she has no idea who she is, except for the fact that the name she has now is not the real her. This upholds the theme coming of age because it shows how Esperanza is confused on her identity and needs more time to figure it out in order to grow. Another example, is when the author states I have inherited her name but i dont want to inherit her place by the window (Cisneros,11). This example shows Esperanzar’s thought and how she is hopeful, because she hopes she doesnt turn out like her grandmother, sad and lost. This supports the theme coming of age because it shows how Esperanza is thinking of her future and wants what is best for her, which is something that an adult would think about, which shows growth. Altogether, Sandra Cisneros uses indirect characterization to show a theme of coming of age and how people thinking about what they what for their future is a big step towards maturity.

In the fifth vignette Cathy Queen Of Cats Sandra Cisneros uses negative diction to show a theme of coming of age and how the type of people someone hangs out or associates with can affect how well that person grow up. For example, the author states words such as away, bad, and farther (Cisneros,13). This example of negative diction shows the struggle Esperanza is going through, being in a neighborhood that is deteriorating because people like her are moving in. This upholds the theme coming of age because it shows how Esperanza feels misplaced and unwelcomed in a neighborhood she just moved into. Another example is when the author states words such as baby, big, and skinny (Cisneros,13). This example of negative diction shows the type of person Cathy is, which is sweet, kind, and pure to be taking in and caring for all these different types of cats. This confirms the theme coming of age because it shows the difference between Esperanzar’s friend Cathy and her new friends to come who will end up being the opposite. All this shows, Sandra Cisneros conveys the theme of coming of age through the use of negative diction in her book and shows how the type of friends someone has will have an effect on the way the person grows up.

In the sixth vignette Our Good Day Sandra Cisneros uses symbolism to show the theme coming of age and how choices made by people affect the way they grow up in life. For example, the text states Two new friends and a bike too (Cisneros,15). This example symbolizes happiness because Esperanza finally has the friends she has been dreaming about and a new bike which can symbolize freedom to go anywhere, and she doesnt have to share these new things with anyone especially Nenny which is what makes it a good day. This ties to the theme coming of age because it shows how Esperanza is progressing into an adult, having things to herself and not having to share with her sister like a little kid. Another example, is when the text states Dont talk to them, says Cathy. Cant you see they smell like a broom (Cisneros,14). This example can symbolize the dislike Cathy has for the girls, it shows how Cathy looks down on Rachel and Lucy, but Esperanza is drawn to them because they share her status as an outsider. This example supports the theme coming of age because it shows how little Esperanza thinks about her choices, she chooses to pay for friends who seem to be trouble rather than keep the good and sweet friend she has now. Given these points, Sandra Cisneros uses Symbolism to show the theme coming of age and how the choices people choose to make have a toll on how well someone grows up.

In the thirteenth vignette There Was An Old Woman She Had So Many Children She Didnt Know What To Do Sandra Cisneros uses indirect characterization to show the theme coming of age and how people shouldnt have to take responsibility for random people who are obnoxious and reckless, but should instead focus on themselves and try to grow as person. For instance, the text states The kids bend trees and bounce between cars…they think its funny. They are without respect for all living things (Cisneros,29). This example shows that the kids are careless and obnoxious, never showing respect for others. This confirms the theme of coming of age because it shows how selfish people can be in the beginning, not caring about anyone they might hurt, and it shows how much growing they still have to do. Another example, is when the text states No wonder everybody just gave up, Just stopped looking out (Cisneros,30). This example shows how the people on Mango Street are maturing, and are learning not to worry about selfish people. This supports the theme coming of age because it shows how people are choosing to get away and not deal with childish and reckless people, instead they ignore them and grow. In a final analysis, Sandra Cisneros uses indirect characterization to portray the theme coming of age in her novel and show how people mature best when they dont have to worry about reckless and selfish people because they are given room to grow and mature.

In the seventeenth vignette The Family Of Little Feet Sandra Cisneros uses symbolism to show the theme coming of age and how the decisions someone makes in a situation shows how mature that person actually is. For example, the text states Lucy, Rachel, and me tee-tottering like so. Down the corner were men cant take their eyes off us. We must me Christmas (Cisneros,40). This example symbolizes adulthood, their wearing shoes that only adults would use and act and walk like adults. This connects back to the theme coming of age because it shows how Esperanza is growing up and starting to look like an adult and wear things that adults would. Another example, is when the text states But we dont like it we got to go (Cisneros,41). This example symbolizes adult thinking, because it shows how the girls knew that what was happening wasnt right and was probably dangerous and decided to get out of that situation as fast as possible. This upholds the theme coming of age because it shows how the girls were finally thinking as adults because most kids wouldnt have left so quickly and might have taken the dollar the bum was trying to give them. In brief, Sandra Cisneros uses symbolism to portray the theme coming of age and how if someone tries to act and think like an adult then that can make them grow up and mature faster.

In the twenty first vignette The First Job Sandra Cisneros uses selection of details to show the theme coming of age and how getting a job and solving real life struggles is a really great step towards maturity because it shows responsibility. For example the text states Aunt Lala said she had found a job for me (Cisneros,54). This example shows how Esperanza is stepping up as a person and is getting a job. This ties back to the theme coming of age because it shows the responsibility that is coming Esperanzas way, having a job is not easy at all, but she is doing it anyway and now will have her own money to spend. Another example, is When lunchtime came, I was scared to eat alone (Cisneros,54). This example shows how she is being forced to overcome new challenges she is faced with in a new environment. This upholds the theme coming of age because being able to adapt to an unfamiliar environment is a skill that most adults have and that means Esperanza is becoming an adult. On the whole, Sandra Cisneros uses selection of details to portray the theme coming of age and how though life people are faced with difficult challenges and it is their responsibility to find a way to solve and adapt to these challenges.

In the twenty eighth vignette Sire Sandra Cisneros uses Selection of details to show the theme coming of age in her novel and how being in a relationship can be both negative and positive when maturing and growing up. For example, the text states that I had to prove to me that i wasnt scared of nobodyr’s eyes, not even his (Cisneros,72). This example shows how much Esperanza has grown throughout the book, she is trying to prove to herself that she is better than she thinks she is by showing herself sher’s not scared. This defends the theme coming of age because it shows that she is doing this for herself not for the benefits of others, proving that she has grown since the beginning of the book. Another example, is when the text states I want to sit out bad at night, a boy around my neck and wind under my skirt (Cisneros,73). This example shows the need for someone, someone to be with and to have, like how Lois has Sire. This supports the theme coming of age because it shows how Esperanza is becoming a woman, and wants someone to be around with her through her life. Summing up, Sandra Cisneros uses selection of details to show the theme coming of age and how being in a relationship can either speed up or slow down the process of maturing.

In the thirty first vignette Rafaela Who Drinks Coconut And Papaya Juice On Tuesdays Sandra Cisneros uses indirect characterization to show the theme coming of age and how helping those in need makes people a better person and more respectful and responsible. For instance, the author states Gets locked indoors because her husband is afraid Rafaela will run away since she is too beautiful to look at (Cisneros,79). This Shows how Rafaela is hopeless, she gets treated miserable, being locked in a house all day can make a person sad and depressed. This connects to the theme coming of age because it shows how Rafaela needs help, even though she is grown she is still treated like a child who needs to constantly be watched and monitored just because of her beauty. Another example, is when the text states We send it up to her in a paper shopping bag she lets down with a clothesline (Cisneros,80). This example shows how the people on Mango Street and Esperanza are compassionate people, because they helped a person in need. This supports the theme coming of age because its shows how Esperanza has grown and now is the one helping people instead of being the one who needs help. As demonstrated, Sandra Cisneros uses indirect characterization to show the theme coming of age and how doing good and helping others proves that someone is growing up and taking care of the people who need it.

To sum up, the novel House On Mango Street written by Sandra Cisneros uses figurative language, symbolism, indirect characterization, negative diction, and selection of details to portray the theme of coming of age and how when someone acts, talks, thinks, and dresses like an adult they are more likely to grow and mature faster than those who dont and act like a child. This shows that people mature and grow up faster when they make good choices and hang out with the right people, not worrying about people who act selfish and have reckless behavior with no regards for anyone but themselves. A person that is coming of age is like a plant, small and pure but gradually over time transitions into something that is much bigger, an adult who is responsible, affectionate, and nurturing towards others.

Esperanza’s Identity in The House on Mango Street

Always feeling accepted is a feeling that s hard to have on a regular basis. Acceptance is something we all should want to give and to receive but is also something everyone struggles with whether you’re the one accepting or the one being accepted. In the book ” The House on Mango Street”, Esperanza struggles with her home life and her friendships.

Esperanza’s name especially makes her feel divided from others. One of the first struggles that I come across when reading this book is she “compares” herself to another character named Ruthie who is according to the text ” Ruthie, tall skinny lady… is the only grown-up we know who likes to play.” (67) Esperanza realizes that Ruthie is more physically antiquity than her. Even so, she still accepts her like how she says in the book, ‘ We are glad because she is our friend.” (69) On the contrary, she feels sad because she doesn’t blend or fit in with some of the other kids. She would just like to be accepted by anyone no matter the difference between them. How Esperanza comes off is that she is disappointed in her lack of maturity compared to others she surrounds herself with and wants to be able to be accepted for who she is not based upon her maturity level.

Esperanza wants to change her name so that she can see herself as her own, instead of accepting a name that traces back bad history. She seems as if she wants to divide herself from her family so that she and only she can live her own life the way she pleases, and changing her name to fit her is like taking that first baby step to then run a mile. Esperanza then becomes more aware of her outter appearance and considers herself “beautiful and cruel” (88) so others, maybe including the opposite gender will like her but will also know not to mess with her, and she challenges that pharase in my opinion by becoming friends with Sally. After she is hit with a cruel reality, she doesn’t want to coincider herself as “beautiful and cruel” anymore, but once again is now unsure of who she is anymore and where she belongs. Esperanza decides she does not need to change herself to feel apart of her surroundings or her peers. She accepts herself and decides that the biggest way to set herself apart from everyone else and to embrace herself is to become a poet and write.

The House on Mango Street: Esperanza’s Home Is in Her Heart

Itr’s been about five years since youve heard from me last, so I guess I should catch you up on what happened. I was eager to start high school. I had a job and friends and started to figure out who I was.

A lot has changed since then. Some for better and others for worst. You see, May 18th of last year is a day Ill never forget. That day, the class I would have been enrolled in graduated. That is the day I would have graduated high school. When I was younger, I knew being able to afford a catholic school education was nearly impossible for my family, but despite my doubts, I saved all of my money. However, those broken stairs at my house finally collapsed. All of my savings went into fixing them. After that, I had to quit my job. That man that forcibly kissed me kept making advances and I knew it would not get better. I could not find another job after that. With no money saved up, I was forced to dropout of high school just like some of the other girls on Mango Street. I should have been able to experience high school. On the day of what would have been my graduation, I knew my time on Mango Street was at its end. I went home and took off for the nearest train station with only my books, papers, and a few of my favorite things.When I left, it broke my heart, but I knew I would come back for my family and so many others. That is what I had always promised to do.

When I got to the station, I had forty-two dollars from babysitting. My main focus was food and a ticket. To save money, I picked the cheapest ticket I could find, which would take me to New York City. My train left in the evening, so I found a bench and claimed it as my own. I just sat there. No one noticed me. I saw little girls who got pushed around by men much older and stronger than them just how it happened to me. This reminded me of all the reasons why I needed to write about and fight for women when I got New York. I was so caught up in my thoughts that I almost missed my train. Before I knew it, an old man was calling through the speaker Next train to New York. As the train moved, I was filled with panic because I realized I had no place to stay. I decided to find the closest shelter when I got there. I had twenty-two hours to get all of my plans figured out.

When I got to New York, I got a map and off I went to The Bowery Mission. I stayed for two and a half months. They helped me get a job on the street near a little shop where I sold pizza and water. While there, I met a woman named Athena. She was thirty-two and had one child, Logan. Her husband kicked her out after three years of abuse and she had nowhere to go. After saving my money and finally rented a small apartment, I remembered Athena and her son and how so many other women on my street were just like them. It reminded me of how much I missed my family and how Id go back for them someday. I still sold pizza and water, but tried to write a book about the struggle of women in my free time. I began to doubt myself because so many publishers told me people dont want or need to know about all these problems. No one thought I could do it, so I started to believe them. One day, after another failed attempt, I hit rock bottom and stopped writing. I went on for three months and didnt write at all. Then after work one day, I saw the most beautiful pair of shoes I have ever seen in my life. I knew if I got my big break, I could afford my house on a hill, those shoes, and be able to bring my whole family to New York. Those shoes represented everything I have wanted and worked for in life. With my dreams closer in reach than ever, I vowed to never give up again.

Finally, I met a publisher named Olivia. Her mom had been killed by her husband after he abused her. She reminded me of my mom with her curly hair, eyes I could look at forever, and her skin soft as snow. I remembered how deeply I needed to see my family again so, I showed her what I had so far. Her eyes lit up and I could tell she would never doubt me and I finally found someone to help me pursue my dreams. I kept writing. I devoted day and night to it, sometimes being late for work, but it was all worth it. I was going to show the world Mango Street. All the abuse on Mango Street. The fear, rejection, and mistreatment on Mango; I would show it all. My story is something otherr’s can call their own and it will finally be heard. Everything I wanted was coming true. I was looking for houses, got recognized at a convention for upcoming writers, and even visited Athena and her child. I could finally help other girls while having my dream job. Being alone in New York, when I hardly fit the mold of a typical New Yorker, made my heart break when I thought about my family too much, but a voice deep in my mind reminded me I had to go back.

My life turned upside down in a short year. I got better at writing, left my first home on Mango Street and I planned to release my first book. I also planned to go to Mango soon. I needed to document the emotion and experience it gave so people can see the real Mango Street. I knew I needed to get my family out of there and help so many women. Women who sat at their window every day would finally be able to make something of their lives. With my words I can help show that anything is possible, no matter race or where you grew up. I may not have the best life or be the most important person in the world, but when people ask who I was, a little girl with a strong voice can say I changed her life and made a difference. The street I lived on taught me falling doesn’t mean you have to stay down. Mango Street will always be my first house and shaped me into the person I am today, but I now know that it is escapable and that it will never take me back again.

Yours truly,

Esperanza/p