In the book The House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros demonstrates in her writing how a child can be forced to mature too rapidly. Esperanza encounters sexism, racism, and discrimination towards the poor that impacted her paradigm of the world around her. The motif occurring throughout the novel is how a young girl must become a woman before they are ready. In the chapter “The Monkey Garden”, Esperanza makes one of her final transitions into the woman, her environment forces her to be, this is shown by the change of her opinion of her shoes, the realization of woman accepting manipulation by men, and her loss of childlike interest in the Monkey Garden.
According to Merriam Webster, a novella is an Italian term, which derives from the word “novel,” and means a short novel or long short story. There are numerous novellas in the world of literature; some significant examples include Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck and A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. A theme of “influences” is displayed throughout these novellas and can influence our perspective on life. Another popular high school novella is Sandra Cisneros’ The House on Mango Street, where protagonist, Esperanza Cordero encounters multiple characters, such as Sally, Sire, and Nenny, who help influence her life in both negative and positive ways.
Many girls desire a female role model from a young age. The way these women are treated, and deal with this treatment can heavily impact the way young girls view themselves, and their future as well. Sandra Cisneros’ The House on Mango Street brings attention to issues of sexism and gender roles. This is done through a series of vignettes about the main character Esperanza navigating life by the example of her many role models. Each role model impacts Esperanza in a special way, Sally who is married at 13, Marin who is waiting to be rescued by a man, and Alicia who is balancing school and home responsibilities. These problems coming to light through the many women Esperanza looks up to, drive her to rise above her obstacles, and become more than just another poorly treated woman.
The House on Mango Street is a touching and timeless tale told in short vignettes. It tells the story of a young Latina girl growing up in Chicago. Her life, and the lives of the people around her, are laid bare to the readers in this touching novella. In the beginning, Esperanza is not accepting of herself. Her family’s poor financial situation, the sadness of the people around her, and the problems she faces in her daily life make her very cynical. However, Esperanza’s negative view of herself slowly changes as she begins to focus on her larger community and her place within it. Through this, Cisneros shows that knowing and accepting where we have come from is an important part of growing up and determining who we are.
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 and her family are always moving because they do not have much money, but they finally moved into a house on Mango Street where they “Don’t have to pay rent to anybody, or share the yard with the people downstairs, or be careful not to make too much noise” (703). Although it sounded like a nice place, when a nun from her school saw where Esperanza lived, she said, “You live there?” (703). That made Esperanza feel like nothing and made her realize she needs a real house, one that is really nice. Esperanza wants to change her life and make the best of what she has. She dreams “One day I will pack my bags of books and paper. One day I will say goodbye to Mango. I am too strong for her to keep me here forever” (707). Esperanza believes that she can change the way she is living and live a better life. She is trying to get a good education to become a more improved and intelligent person so one day she does not have to be poor. Just by having a positive attitude and trying so hard, already makes Esperanza overcome the obstacle of being out of place in her
Many who get carried away by stereotypes about this group will say that they are dangerous or do not have a good education. For example, women should stay at home doing the housekeeping while the men work. But, this is not far from reality. Many of the women are affected because of the men in this group, they feel superior towards women. These women feel that they can be doing something better in their life, but there is someone who holds them back. Such as Alicia, one of the characters from the novel The house on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros. She is a young girl who feels suppressed by her father. The father gives her a hard time while she wants to study. She has to cook and clean for him. But other characteristic that affect this group is their appearance. Esperanza the protagonist of the novel. In the neighborhood where she lives, many people that does not know the place are afraid to get there. The fact that they would think it is a neighborhood full of criminals. "They think we are dangerous. They think they will attack them with shiny knives. They are stupid people who are lost and got here by mistake" (Cisneros 21). Due this disturbances, the Chicanos will be frowned upon and will have difficulty finding jobs or being well received by another group of
Esperanza, from the House on Mango Street is a character that endures loneliness in many levels. A way that Esperanza endures loneliness is in the Vignette of “Our Good Day” when she pays to have a friend. “Five dollars is cheap since I don’t have friends except for Cathy till Tuesday”. (Cisneros 14) Another example of how Esperanza encounters friendlessness is in “The first job”. “… I was scared to eat alone in the company lunchroom with all these men and ladies looking, so I ate real fast in one of the washroom stalls” (54). In the vignette “Boys & Girls” Esperanza explains some of the desolation she
In Mexican American society , women are deemed inferior to men, evident in traditional family roles, the male is the head of the family who provides for the family , while the woman stays at home to look after the children she is expected to provide for her husband . In the third vignette of ‘The House on Mango Street’ titled ‘Boys and Girls’ the reader is informed of the division between men and women when Esperanza refers to herself and her sister Nenny , and her brothers, “They’ve got plenty to say to me and Nenny inside the house. But outside they can’t be seen talking to girls”. The male dominance begins at a very young age.
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.
“No, this isn’t my house I say and shake my head as if shaking could undo the year I’ve lived here (Cisneros 106).” This quote shows Esperanza’s unwillingness of accepting her poor neighbourhood because of the violence and inequality that has happened in it. In the House on Mango Street, the author, Sandra Cisneros, shows that there is a direct link between inequality, violence and poverty. The House on Mango Street shows women are held back by the inequalities that they face. Cisneros shows that racism prevents individuals from receiving job opportunities which leads to poverty and violence. The House on Mango Street shows that the basis of violence and poverty are social inequality. This social inequality limits lower class from getting employed. The neighbourhood in the novel is impoverished because of the inequality in their society.
Many people are undermined by the drawbacks of belonging to a low socioeconomic status. In The House on Mango Street, Esperanza is raised in a poor, Latino community, causing her to be introduced to poverty at an early age. This introduction of poverty affects Esperanza in many ways, one including that she is unable to find success. Esperanza struggles to achieve success in life because the cycle of poverty restricts her in a position in which she cannot break free from her socioeconomic status.
“That’s the problem with the world, too many people grow up.” – Walt Disney. Growing up quickly is a dream for many girls. They will make countless attempts in hopes of becoming a woman faster. In Sandra Cisneros’s, The House on Mango Street, Esperanza becomes one of those girls who spends all of their precious time trying to grow up quickly. Esperanza tries to wear high heels like a woman, tries to have a boyfriend like an older woman, and she tries to get a job like an adult. Esperanza’s longing to grow up quickly causes her to confront the reality of being an adult. Although Esperanza desperately wants to be an adult, she is not prepared for the responsibilities that accompany adulthood; she is unable to successfully make the transition
Esperanza acquires a sense of who she is as a young woman. These characters aid in her decided stance on gender roles and how she wants to evade them as she starts to build her own life. Through Esperanza’s narration, the darkness that correlates with the roles of women is brought into light. The gender roles found in the book are still issues today. Such ideas ruin much of society because people have yet to question and altar them. However, much like Esperanza, in recent years people have offered their own views to the world in hopes that traditional and considerably out-dated women’s roles will change. These individuals hold a key to a better home for themselves and for others far away from Mango
Have you ever been in a situation where you had to struggle with poverty? Or have been jealous over someone's life you thought was better than yours? Or have you even had to live with someone's judgement of you? In the novel The House On Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros, it introduces the reader to a teenage girl named Esperanza who had to fight vigorously through all three battles. Throughout the novel, the reader acquires knowledge on the societal problems of poverty, judgement, and jealousy.