All readers have come across the stereotypical character who is charming, good-looking, and the savior of the story and our hearts, but that is present in commercial fiction. In literary fiction, characters are something greater and deeper.
A house is not a home. A home is somewhere your heart feels content, a place where you feel safe. In fact, a wise person once said, “Home is not a place, it’s a feeling.” This particular theme of home appears several times during Sandra Cisneros’ novella The House on Mango Street. Cisneros uses indirect characterization to show that the main character, Esperanza, feels discontent with her house, and feels as if it is not really her home, because deep in her heart, deep in her mind, she feels that her home is somewhere else, and she feels lost.
Her mom teaches Esperanza many life lessons throughout the story. The reader learns that the mom dropped out of school because she “didn't have nice clothes” (91). The mom regrets this decision as staying in school could have let her lead a better life in a wealthier place. Esperanza quickly realizes that she wants to stay in school to move out of Mango Street. This mom is also there for emotional support when Esperanza needed it. She is also one of the strongest women in the plot of the story. This makes Esperanza look up to her mom and make herself want to be a strong woman when she grows up. Esperanza's mom helps influence the way Esperanza wants to live her life in the future.
Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan is told in 3rd person limited. The narrator tells the reader what the main character, Esperanza is thinking and feeling. “Esperanza felt that sinking feeling again.”(p.74) Esperanza Ortega is rich, elegant, and not used to hard labor and being a poor peasant. Esperanza is 12 years old and always thought her life would be wonderful with many fancy dresses and servants. "Esperanza looked at her Mama in surprise. Why was she apologizing to these people? She and Mama shouldn't even be sitting in this car." (p.69)
The short story “The Lesson” was first published in 1972. This story is in a collection called “Gorilla, My Love” with 14 other stories. Toni Bambara has also published two other novels which added to her collection. In 1977 she published “The Sea Birds Are Still Alive” as her second volume of stories. She also worked on a little bit of screenwriting. Bambara’s short fiction is notable for the creative language and her ability to capture the poetry of black speech. The author stresses the importance of knowledge for both individual growth and collective goodness. Most of her stories focus on young girls determined to make their place in the world. In “The Lesson” it shows us how wealth is unequally divided throughout America. Bambara portrays
Numerous people stumble upon obstacles, but only a few can overcome them. Most obstacles are influenced by the values of the society. In The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, Liesel Meminger overcomes her lack of education and her different beliefs on Jewish people. In Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet both overcome the obstacle of not being able to be together because of the feud between their families. In “The House on Mango Street” by Sandra Cisneros, Esperanza overcomes the obstacle of not fitting into her society because of her lack of money. Liesel Meminger, Romeo and Juliet, and Esperanza all overcome many big obstacles influenced by their society.
Societal expectations are a part of everyone’s life, male or female. From the day people are born, there are roles they are expected to assume-- wife, homemaker, father, provider, mother and many others. While these aren’t necessarily negative, the stigma of not fulfilling these roles can be unpleasant. While the roles we are supposed to choose aren’t always clearly defined, the judgement that comes from choosing to take certain actions in life, like settling down or becoming a mother is palpable. Throughout The House on Mango Street, Esperanza’s view of the world is largely shaped by the people around her, which are her neighbors, family, and friends. These characters influence Esperanza’s choices and her overall viewpoint of life. Sandra
Esperanza begins to notice she is being watched by a boy in the neighborhood. This boy, Sire, evokes mixed emotions from Esperanza. Part of Esperanza feels afraid of Sire’s attention. “They didn’t scare me. They did, but I wouldn’t let them know” (72). Esperanza tries to fight this ‘childish’ fear of boys, and she doesn’t cross the street like the other girls. Esperanza attempts to get over her fear, and looks back at him, straight into his eyes. “I had to look back hard, just once, like he was glass. And I did. I did once” (72). She wants to overcome her childish tendencies and transition into womanhood. When Esperanza sees Sire’s girlfriend her interest in Sire and his relationship increases. She even begins to imagine what it would feel like to have a boyfriend. “I want to sit bad at night, a boy around my neck and the wind under my skirt” (73). This represents the arrival of puberty, which is demonstrated by Esperanza’s desire to behave in a grown-up way. Cisneros goes on to describe Esperanza’s hormonal changes when Esperanza says “Everything is holding its breath inside me… waiting to explode like Christmas” (73). Esperanza feels excited for her first romantic encounter with a boy, yet her excitement gets shattered when the encounter occurs. Sally takes Esperanza to the carnival, but Sally leaves with another boy. Some type of sexual encounter takes places, and although we don’t know
Social inequalities between black and white people are no longer as distinct as they were a few decades ago. Nevertheless, many people still have a lot of prejudices against African-Americans. The unfairness of socioeconomic status can be seen in our daily lives yet it is something that we push to the back of our minds.
Parents are always supposed to look out for the best interests of their child. Anne Tyler authored the short story “Teenage Wasteland” which depicts the story of a strained mother and son relationship between the character Donny, and his mother Daisy. Donny is a teenage boy who is struggling with his grades at school and is exhibiting poor behavior. His mother, Daisy is concerned with her son’s grades and behavior, however, she fails at getting her son the help that he requires. Told through the point of view of the character Daisy, Tyler uses irony to tell the story of a teenage boy who is failed by the adults in his life who are supposed to help him flourish, including his parents, a psychologist, and his tutor.
these three have just shows how different they are. Here are just a few examples that make
In the chapter “Sally”, Esperanza learns about sexual behavior from Sally. Sally represents a figure of sexual maturity that intrigues Esperanza. Paying attention to some details about Sally’s physical appearance, Esperanza notices how Sally dresses more provocative than other girls. “The boys at school think she's beautiful because her hair is shiny black like raven feathers and when she laughs, she flicks her hair back like a satin shawl over her shoulders and laughs” (Cisneros, 101). Like any other girl, Esperanza wants to be beautiful; she sees Sally as a beautiful doll, one she strives to be like. In the chapter “Red Clowns”, Esperanza experiences her first sexual encounter, although it was not what she thought it would be. She finds herself being sexually assaulted. Forcibly introduced into the adult world, Esperanza learn that fantasies are not always what they are said to be. Esperanza states, “They all lied. All the books and magazine, everything that told it wrong. Only his dirty fingernails against my skin, only his sour smell again” (Cisneros, 123). She realizes, bitterly, that sex and love do not always mix, and that boys are not always
Estrella appears to be a child from a different country who has moved with her family to
During this, Esperanza insists upon the fact that Sally “[...] never came, you never came for me. Sally Sally a hundred times. Why didn’t you hear me when I called? Why didn’t you tell them to leave me alone?” (100). It is important to note that instead of telling the readers about her experience, Esperanza begins phrasing her thoughts as if she were talking directly to Sally instead of the readers. Unlike Esperanza, Sally was not there to stand by her friend’s side when she required saving. By saying “why didn’t you hear me when I called?”, Esperanza questions why Sally left her alone instead of rescuing her from the unknown men that took hold of her against her will, especially after she had called for her multitudes of time (100). Not only is this signpost important as it denotes the nuances involved with what scenarios require rescuing and which do not, and how someone’s lack of maturity can impede someone’s judgment, making there seem to be danger when in reality there is none, it also serves as a way to contrast the lack of reciprocity in friendship when it comes to who will stand up and rescue someone regardless of the situation, and who is willing to stay by
In an attempt to find her true identity, Esperanza follows her close friend Sally into dangerous situations until she fully understands the impacts these events have on her present life, and will have in future events. In one such event, Esperanza, now emotionally aware, says, “Sally, you lied, you lied. He wouldn’t let me go. He said I love you Spanish girl” (Cisneros 100). In this event, Esperanza feels like she has lost her place and is now completely vulnerable. This occurrence exposes her true feeling and identity, though she may not know it yet. She uses this specific phrase to point out what she really experienced, and by calling Sally a liar; she shows her future resistance to events such as this. Experiences build a person, and Cisneros continues to demonstrate this important idea in this scene. It is important for the reader to understand that Esperanza’s short phrases are the part of her personality, and these are key in getting Cisneros's main ideas through. In previous vignettes, Esperanza expresses her loyalty to Sally. However, by fully understanding the phrase above, we see the tables turn, and Esperanza move away from this kind of lifestyle. When she remarks, “he said I love you Spanish girl”, we see her resistance to the boy, and how she now opposes going down that kind of road. Esperanza now learned that she does not want to grow up in this kind of manner, and learns to avoid that muddy path. Though Sally is a bad influence, Cisneros uses her to lead Esperanza down a different road, and help her mature in a better