Gender Roles In The House On Mango Street

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In Mexican American society , women are deemed inferior to men, evident in traditional family roles, the male is the head of the family who provides for the family , while the woman stays at home to look after the children she is expected to provide for her husband . In the third vignette of ‘The House on Mango Street’ titled ‘Boys and Girls’ the reader is informed of the division between men and women when Esperanza refers to herself and her sister Nenny , and her brothers, “They’ve got plenty to say to me and Nenny inside the house. But outside they can’t be seen talking to girls”. The male dominance begins at a very young age.

It is this male dominance that deems women as second class citizens who do not need an education. In ‘Alicia who sees mice’, Alicia attends university , due to her mother dying she has ‘inherited her mother’s rolling pin and sleepiness’ although she has the opportunity to study , it is not as important as looking after her family. Esperanza’s mother is not as lucky , she is a typical women in Latin America. Her life revolves around her marriage, family and children. Due to being a woman , Esperanza’s mother was not able to complete her education , instead she was forced to stay at home and look after Esperanza and her siblings while her husband provided for them, she strongly resents this ‘“I could have been somebody, you know? My mother says and sighs. She has lived in this city her whole life. She can speak two languages. She can sing an
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