House On Mango Street Culture

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The House on Mango Street is set in a poor, primarily Hispanic neighborhood. Author Sandra Cisneros creates an atypical, yet easily digestible world for the reader to experience while learning about Esperanza’s childhood. The culture of her environment influences Esperanza’s development as she becomes a young woman, and contributes to the book’s driving theme of self-empowerment. Mango Street is the source of Esperanza’s growth through her childhood, and it hides sadness and longing underneath stereotypes of Hispanic people. The characters that live in the broken-down neighborhood all seem to represent pigeonholed views of Latino individuals. The cliche that people of this culture have too many unruly children is represented through the bit…show more content…
The male-dominated society that Esperanza grows up in forces the idea that women are weak and should stay locked in their houses while men go off to work. The men are immoral and seedy, as expressed in the chapter in which a homeless man leers and asks for a kiss from the little girls. Esperanza experiences the evil of her community when she is sexually assaulted, causing her to lose her previous desire to explore her sexuality. Before being assaulted, she wanted to be “beautiful and cruel” like her friend Sally, because Sally was what she understood to be a perfect woman. However, after her rape she decides that she needs to discover her own identity for herself. Esperanza shifts from a follower into a confused individual, allowing her to begin her life as a woman outside of the oppressive nature of Mango Street. The suffocating stereotypes and sad, gloomy traits of the culture surrounding Esperanza contribute to the cultivation of her strong will and ardor. Mango Street opens her eyes to the abusive nature of her environment, and aids her in breaking the chain of corruption by defining and terminating the situation for herself. The neighborhood itself allows Esperanza to

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