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Classism In Sandra Cisneros's The House On Mango Street

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In the collection of vignettes, The House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros develops the theme that people should not be devalued because of their financial circumstances through metaphors of classism, the motif of shame, and the contrast between minor characters Alicia and Esperanza’s mother. Esperanza, the protagonist, is a Mexican-American adolescent living in the rural Chicago region. She occupies a house on Mango Street with her father, mother, two brothers, Carlos and Kiki, and little sister, Nenny. Mango Street is filled with low-income families, like Esperanza’s, trying to adapt to their difficult circumstances. Esperanza realizes it is difficult, but she dreams of leaving her house and Mango Street altogether. To begin, Cisneros uses metaphors of classism to express Espernaza’s views of classism and how it causes those of a lower class to be devalued. Throughout the novel, Esperanza dreams of moving into a new house, a house on the hill because “people who live on hills sleep so close to the stars that they forget about [those] who live on earth” (86). The house on the hill is a metaphor for those who are higher up in the social class. Those who live on the hills live their live their entire lives so easily and “[do not] look down at all except to be content to live on the hills” (86). Esperanza critiques that the higher class are happy with their own lives and ignorant to their privilege, therefore, they do not care about the less fortunate. This metaphor of
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