Societal Expectations In The House On Mango Street

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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 …show more content…

Alicia, one of Esperanza’s many neighbors, is trying to do that very same thing. “Alicia, who inherited her mama’s rolling pin and sleepiness, is young and smart and studies for the first time at the university.” (Cisneros, 31) Alicia is forced to assume her mother’s role after she passes away, however, she is also trying to graduate from college. However, it is also implied that Alicia’s father is abusive, or possibly unsupportive, because Esperanza notes that “[Alicia] Is afraid of nothing except four-legged fur. And fathers.” (Cisneros, 32) Alicia’s father also says “..a woman’s place is sleeping so she can wake up early with the tortilla star..” (Cisneros, 31) From these two quotes, there is one thing to gather from it: Alicia is probably venturing into what is unseen territory for the women in her family. She is the first to go to college, and she also has no mother. Her father is reacting by dismissing what she is seeing, telling her that she is “..just imagining.” (Cisneros, 31) While her father could be correct, this is a potential sign that she is being gaslit in other areas of her life, too, simply because she is choosing a path he doesn’t

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