House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

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In the novel "The House on Mango Street" many different themes represent different ideas. Esperanza a character in the novel often describes her street to us, and one of the main focuses is the "house". The house symbolizes many different things, in my opinion the house represents everything that is wrong in Esperanza's life. But yet it also represents some where inside the big place called the "world", that she can feel safe and secure. Esperanza has many themes in her life that differs her from the outside world.


In the book "The House on Mango Street" Esperanza's house as we know is not that great, in fact it is plain hideous, and her parents keep telling her that everything will soon get better. She seems to know that's a lye. But you can't blame them for hoping. Her house is red and is probably one of the most unsightly houses on the block. It has narrow steps, no yard what so ever, when you walk in you have to nudge the door to get in. Her house represents her social standing in the community, a good example of this is when the nuns walk by and see Esperanza house, and say, "you live there!"


A benefit to where and what her house appears to be is that she feels safe and secure, locked out from the outside world. But in the same sense her community is a jail. She can't leave because of poverty, and her race. But her parents keep telling her it will all get better. As she says in the book " I am a balloon, a red balloon tied to an anchor.


Her house doesn't represent her identity, but the way she was brought up. Even though they are good people they have had bad luck this is stated in the book as " my luck is unlucky" therefore nothing ever seems to go right and nothing ever changes. Esperanza is like Rafaela who is so young but yet leans out the window so much she fades into old. Esperanza is like this because she is waiting for.


In addition, in the chapter "Minerva Writes Poems," Sandra Cisneros depicts the sad existence of a girl not much older than Esperanza. She is already burdened with "two kids and a husband who left (p.84)." And so she is left to take care of them herself because of her on and off husband. After putting her children to bed, Minerva spends her nights writing heart-breaking.


We are all affected by cultural standards that our own society imposes to us as what is perceive to be normal and acceptable. In United States, the American Dream- the dream of success, wealth and power all rolled up into one influences many people especially in the minds of the immigrants who perpetually believe that they can get a piece of the so-called American dream. In the short story, the House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros reveals the theme of illusion vs. reality conflicting with one another through images and the setting of the story.






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