A Theme Of Finding Your Own Way In The House On Mango Street By Sandra Cisneros

June 23, 2022 by Essay Writer

The author, Sandra Cisneros, introduces a variety of themes in the novella The House on Mango Street but the main theme is that no one should be leading your journey for you. The key to success is by finding your own way through what life throws at you.

In chapter one, Esperanza introduces her living situation. She says she lives in a house that is not the house they thought they would have. In the novella, it states, “The house on mango street is not the way they told it at all. ”(Cisneros, 3) This shows that the house is not what she was expecting and her parents made it sound better than it really was. The house is important to Esperanza because she does not have to pay rent to anybody. In the novella, it states, “. . . share the yard with people downstairs, or be careful to make too much noise. ” This shows that all she really has to do it be careful to not be too loud for the neighbors and to share the yard with other people. On page five of the book, the main character, later known as Esperanza, is playing in the front yard of her rickety, small, run-down home she lived in before moving into the house on Mango Street when a nun walking past her asked her if that is where she lived. After Esperanza pointed to her home, the nun made a rude remark saying, “You live there?”(Cisneros, 5) This really got to Esperanza, and she let what someone else’s opinion was get to her. This connects with the theme because she let someone detour what she believed when she should have taken that as a piece of advice. Either way, from that moment on, she knew she must own a house of her own.

In chapter four, Esperanza officially reveals her name in the novella and tells us that it means hope. During this chapter, Esperanza rambles on about how horrible her name is, although she does not give much of a reason of why she hates it. This was until she tells us that she gets bullied at school for her “ugly” name. In the novella, it states, “At school, they say my bane funny as if the syllables were made out of tin and hurt the roof of your mouth. ”(Cisneros, 11) This shows how “ugly” it sounds when the kids say it at school. She mentions that it sounds like silver when said in Spanish. From reading this chapter, my assumption is the Esperanza does not actually hate her name, at least not when she is at school. She let others decide for her whether or not her name was significant or beautiful, instead of deciding for herself. To conclude her paragraph, Esperanza says this, “I would like to baptize myself under a new name, a name more like me, the one nobody sees. ”(Cisneros, 11) This puts Esperanza in a difficult spot where she must find her own way. She could have stood up for her name but instead, she let her peers walk all over her.


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