A Raisin In The House On Mango Street Analysis

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Lifeline: Expression’s Role in Artistic expression has been used throughout history and folklore to soften the vice grip of oppression and squalor, from Paul and Silas’ hymnals in the prison to the spirituals of black slaves in the American South. In a time period where money sits atop the throne in the lives of lower-to-middle class citizens, the pursuit of wealth becomes a game driven by prejudice, racism, and, if one is lucky, desperation. Baldwin, Cisneros, and Hansberry highlight characters in dire need of wealth to escape the dire situations where they are trapped. Whether it be the lethal streets of Harlem, the broken-down projects of Mango Street, or the roach-infested apartments on the south side of Chicago, the protagonists are…show more content…
The protagonists in “Sonny’s Blues”, A Raisin in the Sun, and The House on Mango Street are all trapped within restrictive environments, and while the authors argue that permanent escape from these restraints is impossible, they also acknowledge that the human soul must find some outlet of expression to avoid…show more content…
On the heroin-riddled streets of Harlem, the narrator of “Sonny’s Blues” has given up hope for his brother, because he believes that the rampant drug community has consumed him. As their distant relationship drifts closer, the narrator begins to see through Sonny’s eyes, but fails to see the benefit in Sonny seemingly throwing himself into the fire by becoming a musician. It is only during Sonny’s struggle that his need for this artistic expression becomes apparent. While staying with Isabel’s family, the frantic reverberations screamed a message to all that could hear, “As I sensed...Sonny was at that piano playing for his life”(1946). As comrade after comrade falls to the inherent greed created by desire, Sonny stays sane only by continuing to express his dreams and bemoan his failures through music. At the jazz bar, Sonny reveals to the narrator (and all in attendance) that music is the only path to liberation. As he begins to play, the narrator watches as his visage morphs to a more serene state;“Yet, there was no battle in his face now...it can live forever” (1954). Sonny may not have escaped his addiction. In fact, he himself admits that he is likely to fall back into it. However, Sonny has found a lifeline in music which will keep him sane in the midst
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