Symbolism In The House On Mango Street

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The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros tells of a willful young girl named Esperanza who dreams big despite her surroundings and restrictions. Throughout the book, she endures the trials and tribulations of growing up, illuminating her experiences through a variety of different symbols. One recurring theme that Cisneros applies to the story is the loss of innocence. Representations such as a house, high heels, and a garden help in giving insight to how Esperanza’s childhood was taken away from her too young too soon.

Early in the book, Esperanza is portrayed as an innocent young girl. In the vignette “Boys & Girls”, Esperanza unveils her thoughts about the opposite gender. She explains how boys and girls seem to “live in separate worlds” (Cisneros 8). At this point of the story, Esperanza have no desire to interact with the opposite sex and displays no interest in them of any kind. She also states, “My brothers for example. They’ve got plenty to say to me and Nenny inside the house. But outside they can’t be seen talking to girls” (Cisneros 8). The house stands as a symbol of a safe haven – a place where Esperanza knows that as long as she is in it, nothing and no one can harm her. When she first moves into Mango Street, she immediately becomes conscious of the fact that her old environment, the place where she can move freely as a juvenile girl, is can no longer be accessed. She moves to a new, hostile place, entering a world of adulthood in which everything is

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