Since Its Publication In 1984, The House On Mango Street

1551 WordsMar 8, 20177 Pages
Since its publication in 1984, The House on Mango Street grows in popularity within inner-city grade schools to universities across the country -- it is a coming of age tale for a Mexican-American girl named Esperanza Cordero living in a fictional poor neighborhood in Chicago called Mango Street. Though it is called a novel, Cisneros creates The House on Mango Street with forty-four vignettes that thoughtfully depicts Chicano culture and what are the roles of women in this society; as Esperanza observes different characters in each vignette, she understands that the same force that ensnares Esperanza to Mango Street is the same force that encourages Esperanza’s desire to leave Mango Street. Cisneros uses Esperanza as a vehicle to go…show more content…
(10) Esperanza’s comparison to her great-grandmother illustrates who is she as a woman. She doesn’t fit the norms of Chicano culture because Mexicans “don’t like their women strong” (10) and she is just that – a strong Mexican woman. Yet, when Esperanza describes her great-grandfather, she doesn’t describe him like how she did with her great-grandmother. She says, “until my great-grandfather threw a sack over her head and carried her off.” (11) Esperanza introduces her great-grandfather with an action and not a trait; therefore, she doesn’t give the same treatment to her great-grandfather. She does not develop his character and the reader must make assumptions about his character. Also, Esperanza portrays Latino culture as reduced her great-grandmother to mere object because she compares her strong-willed grandmother to a “fancy chandelier.” (11) She continues to describe her great-grandmother and starts to relate with her by wondering “if she [great-grandmother] made the best with what she got or was she sorry because she couldn’t be all the things she wanted to be.” (11) Again, she adds depth to her great-grandmother’s character by showing her sadness and as a result, Esperanza’s characterization shows which relative she likes or dislikes. It is interesting as a reader because Esperanza is

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