Comparing the Minority Experience in Baby of the Family, and House on Mango Street

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Women Minority Experience in Baby of the Family, and House on Mango Street

The two novels Baby of the Family, and House on Mango Street expose the minority experience through the perspective of a child, struggling to find an identity in their own unique views of the cultures they are growing up in. The life of Lena's family, one of an upper class African American family in the southern part of the United States, appeals to the ideal of the New American as her family blends the dominant culture with their minority background in their everyday life experiences. Esperanza is a Hispanic youth, growing up in a barrio, where there is not much to offer the Hispanic locals. She ultimately feels the profile the of the New American in her
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Each author exposes us to the aspect of the minority cultural background clashing with the dominant culture as both Lena and Esperanza notice the obvious differences in their economic backgrounds from other people in their area. Lena's father, Jonah, is the ideal "New American" because he is able to bridge his way out of the ghetto lifestyle, starting his own successful business. The typical stereotype of the African American male is a lazy, out of work, living off the government's welfare programs (Murray 18). This is certainly not the case for Jonah MacPherson, as he has established himself as a pillar of the community. "The Place" is a local popular hangout for the neighborhood residents, and many of the regulars soon become part of Lena's extended family, as she becomes very comfortable in situations that might be awkward for other youth's. Jonah does maintain a link to the urban ghetto lifestyle as he assumes the role as a type of loan shark, hustling the weekly poker games to put a little extra cash in his pocket. But he shows the maturity of a respectful citizen as he always shows the neccessary respect to the elderly people of the community never forgetting his ethnic roots. The MacPherson family respects him because he is a wonderful provider, who is a role model for not only his immediate family, but also the other members of the

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