Theme Of Women In The House On Mango Street

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Journal 4 In the novel, The House On Mango Street, women face numerous challenges in their lives. Women face abuse, objectification, and oppression. They are also subjects to the societal roles that hinders them from being free and successful. Cisneros utilizes metaphors to reveal the theme of society’s gender roles restricting the lives and sexuality of women.
In The House On Mango Street, the metaphor of the “[red] balloon tied to an anchor” (Cisneros, 9) helps reveal the theme of how societal roles limit women. The anchoring of the red balloon demonstrates how gender roles oppress women. Cisneros uses red to indicate sexuality as in the “Red Clowns” and “red lips” (88) of the femme fatale in the chapter “Beautiful & Cruel”. Additionally, the red balloon represents women because the anchor keeps the balloon from being free and in a similar way, gender roles keep women from being free. Women on Mango Street enter a stifling cycle of taking up the typical roles of women. Society expects women to “wait... for a husband” (88) and to “spend [their] lives… behind a rolling pin.” (31-32). In Sally’s case, she is dependent on men and she marries “young and [unready,] but married just the same.” (101). Sally marries “to escape” (101), entering the cycle that women on Mango Street go through, and ends up a prisoner of her own home. Sally is the red balloon tied to an anchor because she can’t escape and she doesn’t have any freedom. By submitting to the gender roles of her

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