The House On Mango Street Adulthood Analysis

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“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…show more content…
Esperanza begins to notice she is being watched by a boy in the neighborhood. This boy, Sire, evokes mixed emotions from Esperanza. Part of Esperanza feels afraid of Sire’s attention. “They didn’t scare me. They did, but I wouldn’t let them know” (72). Esperanza tries to fight this ‘childish’ fear of boys, and she doesn’t cross the street like the other girls. Esperanza attempts to get over her fear, and looks back at him, straight into his eyes. “I had to look back hard, just once, like he was glass. And I did. I did once” (72). She wants to overcome her childish tendencies and transition into womanhood. When Esperanza sees Sire’s girlfriend her interest in Sire and his relationship increases. She even begins to imagine what it would feel like to have a boyfriend. “I want to sit bad at night, a boy around my neck and the wind under my skirt” (73). This represents the arrival of puberty, which is demonstrated by Esperanza’s desire to behave in a grown-up way. Cisneros goes on to describe Esperanza’s hormonal changes when Esperanza says “Everything is holding its breath inside me… waiting to explode like Christmas” (73). Esperanza feels excited for her first romantic encounter with a boy, yet her excitement gets shattered when the encounter occurs. Sally takes Esperanza to the carnival, but Sally leaves with another boy. Some type of sexual encounter takes places, and although we don’t know…show more content…
Esperanza gets a job Peter Pan Photo Finisher, partly because she wanted to, and partly because her father forced her to. “It wasn’t as if I didn’t want to work. I did.” (53). This is another opportunity for Esperanza to enter the adult world. But immediately she feels intimidated because she doesn’t understand the rules of the workplace, and is too afraid to ask. “… and I didn’t know if I could sit down or not, and then I started sitting down when the two ladies next to me did.” (54). Yet again Esperanza proves that she is still a child because she feels too timid to ask a basic question. The lunch room turns out to be a scary place for Esperanza as well. She feels uncomfortable interacting with adults, and she avoids all contact with them. “I was scared to eat alone in the company lunchroom with all of those men and ladies looking, so I ate real fast standing in one of the washroom stalls….” (54). Although she wants to be an adult, she feels like an outcast in the adult world. The same issue arises later in the day, “But then break time came, and not knowing where else to go, I went into the coatroom because there was a bench there.” (54). Esperanza chooses to be alone over having to be around adults. Esperanza finally finds the courage to talk to a colleague at work when she meets a seemly friendly older man, and she is pleased to have an older friend to sit
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