The House on Mango Street

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When I grow up, I want to be a black gum tree. Black gum trees are known for their internal strength. Instead of dwelling on outward beauty, they spend more time focusing on their inner growth and developing their core. Only after they have achieved this goal can they produce beautiful fruits that draw animals near to them. Any surfaces that the berries touch are stained as to say, “I was here and made a permanent difference.” After they have utilized their outward influences, they use their internal scars and hollow places to protect the animals surrounding around it. If human lives were to reflect the concepts of the black gum tree, governments, individuals, and communities would be radically transformed. While this is a beautiful image,…show more content…
Now the slab can be seen as a secondary result deriving from the poor condition of the roots. The roots of the trees act as a metaphor for the community on Mango Street, which supports Esperanza’s development. Because the roots of the community on Mango Street are tangled in cycles of tragic abuse, Esperanza is deprived of the essential social and ethical requirements she needs to grow. When Esperanza explains that the trees “send ferocious roots beneath the ground”, she is implying that the trees are trying to dig deeper in order to find an essential element for their growth (Cisneros 74). New visitors to her neighborhood roll their windows up tightly, which shows it is not an environment that allows children to develop properly (Cisneros 28). Because of the deficit her community is causing her, she is unable to grow to her full potential, and resorts to digging deeper within herself just as the roots of the trees do. A problem arises when trees try to do this because the roots are more susceptible to disease. Keeping with the metaphor, Esperanza shows symptoms similar to a tree that has attracted the heart rot disease. This disease is characterized by external problems seeping through the roots, which lead to the decay of the heartwood of a tree, and eventually its overall health. Esperanza is obviously being fed infectious ideas from her misshapen community, and has begun to let it eat away at her heart. This cycle is started by the roots

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