In the memoir, The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls, Jeannette manages to overcome her obstacles by realizing her independence. She is impacted by her parents’ incapabilities because she realizes that she has to do things differently than other children. Her father was a stubborn alcoholic who believed that: “[they] were all getting too soft, too dependent on creature comforts, and that [they] were losing touch with the natural order of the world”(Walls 106). He believes that every human should be independent and fend for themselves. By using the term “creature comforts”, her father is trying to separate himself from what he calls the civilians.
Moreover, she reveals that stereotypes mark people as undesirable and separate them from the rest of society, thus impeding their assimilation. Cofer uses another simile when she details her experience with an American boy at her first formal dance: “ … [He] said in a resentful tone: ‘I thought you Latin girls were supposed to mature early’—my first instance of being thought of as a fruit or vegetable—I was supposed to ripen, not just grow into womanhood like other girls” (549). In this simile, Cofer shows how those who stereotype Latino women compare them to fruits and vegetables because both are supposed to mature rapidly. However, she denounces this comparison by emphasizing that it dehumanizes Latino women and reduces them to the status of mere plants while creating a
A texan woman, named Sandra Bearden was looking for a maid to complete housework and look after her son, so she traveled into a poor village in Mexico and met Maria. Maria, being only twelve years old, saw this as an opportunity to move to the U.S. and receive better education which produced a better life. Sadly, Maria’s dreams were crushed because Sandra began to take advantage of her both physically and mentally. Her punishments for not working included: pepper spray in the eyes, a bottle broken against her head, jamming garden tools up her private areas,
In Helena Maria Viramontes’ novel, Under the Feet of Jesus, Estrella starts off as angsty and confused, but then shifts to a state of contentment and understanding, caused by life experiences. These character traits are revealed through the selection of detail, figurative language, and tone. Initially, Estrella is immediately characterized as “very angry” when she finds Perfecto’s “foreign” toolbox. She uses a tone of confusion that illustrates her unfamiliarity with the objects in the tool box by using words such as “funny-shaped”, and using a simile comparing her confusion with the tools to the alphabet which Estrella “could not decipher”.
In the novel, the image of a barn is one that is used repeatedly to introduce new concepts in Estrella’s life, symbolizing her discovery of a new sense of self and voice. The barn may also be a symbol of the collective experiences of a generation of Hispanic migrant workers, portraying their hardships and collective journey as well as Estrella’s personal development. More than a decrepit building, the barn represents a space where Estrella can complete her transformation and empowerment. The structure is described as a "cathedral," a place of religious contemplation (Viramontes 9). Estrella continues to use the building as a place for reflection.
The main protagonist Esperanza, matures from a childish girl to a young confident woman through many critical and life changing events in the story. Ultimately, the author, Sandra Cisneros implements the symbols of confidence, the house on mango street and the metaphor of shoes to show how Esperanza develops into a more mature state. Sandra Cisneros
In chapter 3 of Speaking of Jesus, Carl Medearis talks about what it means to own Christianity. He says "If we don't truly know what the gospel is, we have to find an explanation for Christianity." Meaning that if we do not know what the gospel is or what it is teaching us, then we try to define it by our own standards, and that is where it gets messy. Medearis talks about how Christianity is more than a religion, but it is a relationship and people tend to not understand that. He explains why people are so defensive and put up their guards towards Christians, because Christians can be so judgemental.
As a young child, after being told of how poor her houseboy Fido was, Adichie did not believe his family could also be hardworking. “Their poverty was my single story of them. ”(Adichie) She also details how later, on a trip to Guadalajara she was overwhelmed with shame because her only image of Mexicans was the “abject immigrant” due to the “…endless stories of Mexicans as people who were fleecing the healthcare system, sneaking across the border, being arrested at the border, that sort of thing.” (Adichie)a She was caught by surprise when she saw Mexicans happy and at work in the marketplace.
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.
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.
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 House on Mango Street is set in a poor, primarily Hispanic neighborhood. Author Sandra Cisneros creates an atypical, yet easily digestible world for the reader to experience while learning about Esperanza’s childhood. The culture of her environment influences Esperanza’s development as she becomes a young woman, and contributes to the book’s driving theme of self-empowerment. Mango Street is the source of Esperanza’s growth through her childhood, and it hides sadness and longing underneath stereotypes of Hispanic people. The characters that live in the broken-down neighborhood all seem to represent pigeonholed views of Latino individuals.
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. In the beginning of
The Story of the Vargas Family “Rosa Vargas’ kids are too many and too much. It’s not her fault, you know, except she is their mother and only one against so many” (Cisneros 29). In the novel The House on Mango Street, the author, Sandra Cisneros, touches on the many negative consequences of a single, impoverished mother raising an overwhelming amount of children. Poverty, discrimination, parental and neighborly responsibility, and respect are all issues and social forces that act upon the family; their presence or lack thereof cause several grisly occurrences to take place. Poverty was almost like a curse given to Rosa Vargas by her husband, who “left without even leaving a dollar for bologna or a note explaining how come” (29).
Growing up as a young female teen came be hard due to the stress and peer pressure of appearance. For teenage girls from immigrant families, it came be very challenging to fit in with the “American way”. Esperanza struggles throughout the book with finding her place in society. She looks to other female role models in her community for guidance, where she finds different results. Most of Esperanza’s female role models on Mango Street have unique stories to tell of their experiences with men on Mango Street.