Essay about An Invisible Shield

Decent Essays
Every community has their own standards for the men, women and children. If a child were to grow up in a white dominant, high-class town like Poway, CA, they would be expected to complete high school, go to college, get a well-paid job and then marry in their mid-twenties. In The House on Mango Street, a Hispanic, second-class community expects their women to grow up, drop out of school, marry early to escape their family and depend on their husband. For a girl who grows up in that kind of society, it will most likely become her fate. No matter what her dreams may be, there is an established invisible shield that blocks most of the women from escaping their mother's and grandmother's destiny of a sheltered housewife. Cisneros writes…show more content…
"My Name" gives the reader a good idea of the macho stereotypes that dominate Esperanza's life. She tells how she was taught that the year of the horse, the year she was born on, is unlucky for females. Although Esperanza understands the Mexican ideal of an obedient woman, she completely rejects the lifestyle. "She was a horse woman too, born like me in the Chinese year of the horse which is supposed to be bad luck if you're born female but I think this is a Chinese lie because the Chinese, like the Mexicans, don't like their women strong." The strong tone Esperanza writes in shows her admiration of her great grandmother's free spirit as a "horse woman," which is much like her own. The metaphor shows how like the independent, free animal, some are doomed to be captured, trained, and ruled by men. Like a horse, Esperanza's great grandmother was "caught" when "my great-grandfather threw a sack over her head and carried her off." Esperanza is amaze at the legitimacy of male domination when she says ."..just like that, as if she were a fancy chandelier." Here, Esperanza learns to understand that her society refers to women as objects and their worth is determined by their appearance and function.

There are three consecutive vignettes that give examples of three different vulnerable, tragic women. In the first vignette, "No Speak English," Esperanza's neighbor works
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