The American Dream In Esperanza's The House On Mango Street

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The novel The House on Mango street is a collection of short vignettes about Esperanza Cordero, a young girl coming of age in the Mexican neighborhood of Mango Street. Narrated by Esperanza, the novel talks about her mother, father, brother and two sisters as they restart their lives in a new house with new hopes. Though the book may be short in length, its strength is all about Sandra Cisneros’s profound way of writing. The Cordero family is after the American Dream: to do well with their family and to have a house of their own. In Esperanza, this dream becomes something; in “Story Time” this hope becomes a disappointment when each new house falls short of her built-up expectations. In the Novel The House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros…show more content…
Repetition is about saying the same word more than once to give importance to the sentence and to make the idea clearer. In the vignette “My Name” Esperanza describes how she dislikes her name by repeating “It means”. “In english it means hope. In spanish it means too many letters. It means sadness. It means waiting” (Cisneros 10 ). The words used by Esperanza to describe her name show how desperate her name is. Also, we see that the meaning she gives to her name in each language is not the same in English and in Spanish. Esperanza’s name is positive in English but negative in Spanish. She refers to her Mexican identity in a negative way. Cisneros uses repetition in another vignette called “Four Skinny Trees” “Keep, Keep, Keep, trees say when I sleep. They Teach. When I am too sad and too skinny to keep keeping, when I am a tiny thing against so many bricks, then it is I look at trees” (Cisneros 75). She is identifying with the skinny trees who hold and keep their strength even though they are blocked by the concrete. In the same way, she feels too skinny to fight against the aggressive environment in which she lives but she will not lose hope. In addition to using repetition in this sentence, Sandra Cisneros also uses assonance by repeating the sound “ee” in the words “Keep, Trees, sleep, Teach”. Esperanza creates a melody of repeated soft sounds that make us feel the same way as she does. Cisneros…show more content…
Imagery is a figurative language, such as “Where the ocean kissed the southern shore” or “He fell down like an old tree falling down in a storm”. It is a use of images to express a feeling or describe a situation. In the vignette Cathy queen of cats, here is an example of imagery. “Cathy who is queen of cats... her house is like cat heaven” ( Cisneros (13). This imagery refers to the number of cats she has in her house. The picture of having many cats in her house does not mean that she is lonely or in need of new friends. Cathy is a weird character and has plenty of imagination and a lot of opinions on other people. Cathy does not care about her weirdness and about what people think about her. Another vignette called “ Rafaela who drinks Coconut and Papaya juice every Tuesdays” shows imagery. “Rafaela leans out the window and leans on her elbow, dreams that her hair is like Rapunzel's”(73). Rafaela was betrayed and made the same mistake as the others, of marrying a man too early. Her husband tells her to not go out because he is scared that Rafaela will run away and he wants to keep her because she is too beautiful to look at. Every Tuesdays she leans out the window and sees women opening their houses and wishes she was like them. Rafaela dreams that her hair was like Rapunzel’s because she wants to use this long hair to escape the house, just like Rapunzel using her hair to escape from the tower. Cisneros is
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