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Identity In The House On Mango Street

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A common lifelong struggle of humanity is finding oneself as well as one’s place in society. People struggle to define their identities on a global, local and personal level. For instance, a Mexican family is trying to create a living in America, while struggling for acceptance. As a member of the family, a young girl questions the true meaning of home. As she grows, she dreams of what the perfect home will be and also learns how to fight for her rights as a Chicana woman. Assisting in her journey of self discovery, the neighborhood residents allow her to experience different stories and understand the diversity in the world. Sandra Cisneros details this situation in her novel The House on Mango Street. Cisneros shows Esperanza’s coming of…show more content…
There is a clear parallel in their quest for self identity. Since Cisneros grew up with seven older brothers she was excluded from games, resulting in her feeling like an outcast (Moss and Wilson). Similarly, struggling to love herself, Esperanza becomes lonely and cheerless (de Valdes): “Here there is too much sadness and not enough sky. Butterflies too are few and so are flowers and most things that are beautiful” (Cisneros 33). Cisneros’s feelings of being an outcast is similar to Esperanza’s fight against loneliness. They are both trying to find their place in the repressive neighborhood they call home. Moving multiple times within the city of Chicago, Esperanza’s main residence is on Mango Street. While there, she is exposed to what her future will look like based on other women living in the neighborhood (“House”). She understands that the outcome of many women in the barrio was not the brightest; however, she continues to strive for acceptance and search for courage to change her fate (de Valdes). Sharing a similar experience in the barrio, Cisneros describes it more uneasily: “To me the barrio was a repressive community. I found it frightening and very terrifying for a woman” (Bloom “Story” 14). Even with society’s negative view on females, Esperanza and Cisneros go against the stigma and learn how to accept themselves in that particular…show more content…
2, Gale, 1997, pp. 113-132. Gale Virtual Reference Library, http://go.galegroup.com/ps/retrieve.do?tabID=T003&resultListType=RESULT_LIST&searchResultsType=SingleTab&searchType=BasicSearchForm&currentPosition=2&docId=GALE%7CCX2591500016&docType=Character+overview%2C+Critical+essay%2C+Work+overview%2C+Biography%2C+Plot+summary&sort=RELEVANCE&contentSegment=&prodId=GVRL&contentSet=GALE%7CCX2591500016&searchId=R4&userGroupName=pl3059&inPS=true. Moss, Joyce, and George Wilson. “The House on Mango Street.” Literature and Its Times: Profiles of 300 Notable Literary Works and the Historical Events that Influences Them, vol. 5, Gale, 1997, pp. 171-177. Gale Virtual Reference Library, http://go.galegroup.com/ps/retrieve.do?tabID=T003&resultListType=RESULT_LIST&searchResultsType=SingleTab&searchType=BasicSearchForm&currentPosition=6&docId=GALE%7CCX2875100321&docType=Work+overview&sort=RELEVANCE&contentSegment=&prodId=GVRL&contentSet=GALE%7CCX2875100321&searchId=R1&userGroupName=pl3059&inPS=true. Sloboda, Nicholas. “A Home in the Heart: Sandra Cisneros’s The House on Mango Street.” Sandra Cisneros’s The House on Mango Street, edited by Harold Bloom, Infobase Publishing, 2010, pp.
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