Hope In Sandra Cisneros's The House On Mango Street

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Scraggly and pitiful, the four trees outside Esperanza’s window who “grew despite concrete” and “Reach and do not forget to reach” (Cisneros 75) inspire Esperanza to persevere and represent her determination to escape poverty. The word “concrete” signifying an industrial or impoverished setting, the idea that the trees grow “despite” the concrete demonstrates ambition stemming from adversity. Similarly, Esperanza exhibits the determination and hope seen in the trees when talking about her dreams of escaping her social standing. However, while Esperanza’s own “concrete” or troubled background inspires her dreams, it also embarrasses her, causing demoralization. These contradicting repercussions of financial instability run constantly throughout…show more content…
In The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros, Esperanza’s shame and despair dragging her down, contrasted with her vivid dreams of escaping her economic class providing purpose and hope demonstrate the dual contradictory effects of poverty on an individual. While she does express ambition for her aspirations, Esperanza’s economic troubles cause her to feel despondent and isolated, demonstrated by her disappointment with her material possessions. Her despair is first introduced in the vignette “The House on Mango Street” where a passing nun views Esperanza’s run-down house. The nun responds to her house with disbelief and disgust, prompting Esperanza’s embarrassment: “The way she said it made me feel like nothing. There. I lived there” (Cisneros 5). Her response, synonymous to the shame commonly felt by many individuals affected by poverty, illustrates her humiliation by relating it to her house. Esperanza again demonstrates her unease with her house and neighborhood when she states, “I don’t belong. I don’t ever want to come from here” (Cisneros 106). Her…show more content…
Just as Esperanza expresses her distaste for her shabby new house in the vignette “House on Mango Street”, she also exhibits a strong desire for her own home, stating “I knew then I had to have a house. A real house. One I could point to” (Cisneros 5). Esperanza’s dream of owning her own house, derived from her dissatisfaction with the impoverished nature of the house on Mango Street, illustrates that Esperanza’s dreams originate from her poverty. Similarly, Esperanza continues with this idea of owning her own house in the vignette “Bums in the Attic”, where after expressing resentment towards her family’s pitiful visits to a house they could never afford, Esperanza declares, “One day I’ll own my own house but I won’t forget who I am or where I came from” (Cisneros 87). Stemming from Esperanza’s previous discomfort with her family’s low socio-economic status, her statement reflects a commonly experienced effect of poverty, determination to pursue dreams. Again Esperanza demonstrates a strong desire to escape the societal and economic bonds she was born into in the vignette “Born Bad”. Her dream that “One day I’ll jump out of my skin” (Cisneros 60), while not about her specifically owning a house, still communicates her ambition to change. Additionally, the use of the words “will” and “one day” in both of her aspirations demonstrate Esperanza’s certainty

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