The House on Mango Street Analysis

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The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros is categorized into 44 chapters or short stories which are called vignettes. Vignettes are very briefcases of episodes; short stories (in my terms). 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 indeed symbolizes plenty of different things, in my opinion, the house could represent everything that is wrong in Esperanza. But yet it also represents somewhere inside the big place called the “world”, that she can feel safe and secure. Esperanza has many themes in her life that differ from the outside world.

In this book, The House on Mango Street, Esperanza’s house as we know is not that great, in fact, it’s pretty bad, but hey I’m not judging, and her parents keep telling her that everything will soon get better. She seems to know that’s a lie. But you can’t blame the parents for hoping, because that’s what parents do, is hope, especially for there child. 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 says in the book ” I am a balloon, a red balloon tied to an anchor.” ( Cisneros 15). This practically illustrates that where she comes from it’s hard to get out. 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.

Motifs are recurring structures, contrasts, or literary devices that can help to develop and inform the text’s major themes, and in the book, “The House on Mango Street”, we see plenty of ‘motifs’. For example, you got Women or Women by Windows. The Women in this book (The House on Mango Street) are repeatedly being ‘trapped’ in some type of way, this could be by their children, fathers, or most likely by their husband.

After years of moving from apartment to apartment, Esperanza Cordero’s parents purchase a small red house on Mango Street, part of an urban Latino neighborhood in which I believe takes place in Chicago Illinois. The shabby Lil’ house is nothing like Esperanza’s dream home, which is tidy, quiet, and completely her own. Nevertheless, adolescent Esperanza try’s to make the absolute best of her situation and begins exploring her new slice of the city, usually with her youngest sibling, Nenny, in tow. Esperanza’s first acquaintance is Cathy, a white girl who warns Esperanza they can only be friends for a little while—her family is moving because, according to Cathy, the quality of the neighbors is going downhill.


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The House on Mango Street Analysis. (2020, Sep 20). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/the-house-on-mango-street-analysis/

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