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How Is Alicia Presented In A House On Mango Street

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Does what you learn from childhood have an impact on how you live your adult life? In Sandra Cisneros’s novel, A House on Mango Street, the protagonist, Esperanza, is limited by her family’s circumstances. Constantly moving from apartment to apartment, Esperanza and her family finally settle in a house on Mango Street that they can call their own. Mango Street is located in a colored lower class neighborhood with mostly Latino/Hispanic residents. Through Esperanza’s reflections the reader gets a glimpse into her daily life and the experiences she goes through as she is coming of age. Importantly, the women on Mango Street are limited by gender roles, held back from their full potential, because of cultural expectations, ill-health, male dominance, …show more content…

The first glimpses of Alicia’s story is on pages 31-32, and when Sandra Cisneros explains that Alicia’s mother died, forcing Alicia to become the woman of the house, and take care of the family. However, Alicia does not hold herself to the gender role, of the woman staying home only focusing of on taking care of the family only, and in contrast works hard to gain herself an education. Alicia, in simpler terms, is using her education to escape the cycle of poverty and the ways of Mango Street. To the reader Alicia is one “who doesn’t belong but are here”, a phrase Sandra Cisneros repeats throughout the novel. In Esperanza’s eyes Alicia is highly admirable, stating, “She doesn’t want to spend her whole life in a factory or behind a rolling pin. Is a good girl, my friend, studies all night...Is afraid of nothing…” (32). Alicia is hardworking, a good girl, a respectable friend of Esperanza, and one who studies all night and fears nothing. Esperanza takes the same determination that Alicia has and creates her own definition of …show more content…

Cisneros ends the novel in a more mature voice of Esperanza. She writes, “Not a man’s house. Not daddy’s. A house all my own” (108). Esperanza becomes responsible and not dependent on a man to take care of her, a choice quite different from the ones made by the women on Mango Street. She takes what she learns from Alicia, and becomes successful to make a change for her community. Cisneros writes, “Where did she go with all those books and paper? Why did she march so far? They will not know I have gone away to come back” (110). It has always been a dream of Esperanza to become a writer, and she still follows her dreams as she leaves Mango Street “with all those book and paper”, her very own way to escape. The use of the word “march” helps imagine the determined and proud stride Esperanza exhibited as she went on to greater things. Knowing that she would always “come back” for the one’s confined by Mango Street. Esperanza becomes a woman who takes the initiative to make a change, follows her dream, is courage, and intelligence. All attributes she learns from her various female role models, as she creates a womanhood that allows her to be

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