Sandra Cisneros’ the House on Mango Street

Exclusively available on PapersOwl
Updated: Mar 28, 2022
Cite this
Date added
Pages:  2
Order Original Essay

How it works

Sandra Cisneros’, strong cultural values greatly influenced “The House on Mango Street.” Esperanza’s life is the medium that Cisneros uses to bring the Latino community to her audience. Esperanza observes the struggles of some Chicanos/as who wish to preserve the essence of their culture while striving to forge productive lives in the American culture. This novel shows how Esperanza’s struggle to become part of the world outside of Mango Street, it represents the desire many Chicanos have to grow beyond their neighborhoods.

Need a custom essay on the same topic?
Give us your paper requirements, choose a writer and we’ll deliver the highest-quality essay!
Order now

This novel also deals with the catholic church and its position in the Latin community, gender roles, and family connection in the barrio.

Esperanza’s community serves as a microcosm of Latinos in America. Her identity is interwoven with the identity of the neighborhood. In “Thow Who Don’t,” Esperanza considers the stereotypes and fears that whites have of Latinos and vice versa. “They think we’re dangerous. They think we will attack them with shiny knives” (Cisneros 28). Esperanza explains that whenever someone from “another color” go through their neighborhood they put a fear in them, that they are dangerous, and that they’ll get hurt. “All brown all around, we are safe. But watch us drive into a neighborhood of another color and our knees go shakity-shake and our car windows get rolled up tight and our eyes look straight” (Cisneros 28). Those fears that others have towards them are the same fears that Esperanza’s community feels when they go through a neighborhood of another color.

Cisneros weaves together popular beliefs, traditions, and other vestiges of the background she and her neighbors trace their ancestry. In “No Speak English,” an old woman paint her walls pink so as to remember the colorful appearance of the houses in Mexico. “… a pink house, pink as hollyhocks with lots of startled light. The man paints the walls of the apartment pink, but it’s not the same…” (Cisneros 77). I think this part demonstrates how those who migrated to the U.S. feel home sick and try to adjust their lives to be similar to the one they had in the country they originated in. “¡Ay, caray! We are home. This is home. Here I am and here I stay. Speak English. Speak English. Christ!” (Cisneros 78). Mamacita risks losing her identity if assimilates, like her grandson, into the American culture. We often see this, we see people losing interest in their customs and slowly they lose a little of that culture.

Religion holds a powerful position in the lives of Latinos, it provides a built in sensor of right and wrong. In the chapter “A Rice Sandwich,” it divulges how guilt is established. Esperanza wants to eat at the canteen for lunch, but the nun insults her because of where she lives. “That one? she said, pointing to a tow of ugly three-flats, the ones even the raggedy men are ashamed to go into” (Cisneros 45). That her victimizers were nuns made her even more embarrassed.

Esperanza offers her the greatest insights into the lives of female characters. One of the most endured themes of the book is the socialization of females within Chicano/a society based on the fixed gender roles. She is not a big fan of the gender roles that keep the women in her community oppressed. She explores the dynamics of women’s lives in a male-dominated society. The conditions of females are predetermined by economic and social constraints. In the Hispanic culture it’s traditionally linked with different gender roles for women and men. Usually, the primary role for men is economic protection and for women it is to be a housewife.

Most of the female characters in the novel have internalized the male viewpoint. They believe that it is their husbands or father’s responsibility to care for them and make decisions for them. These constraints are too powerful to overcome. Esperanza does not want to become like other women, she doesn’t want to depend on a man and be stuck under a man’s authority. “Not a man’s house. Not a daddy’s. A house all my own” (Cisneros 108). She desires to leave Mango Street a have a house of her, remaining independent is an act of rebellion, and giving power.

The deadline is too short to read someone else's essay
Hire a verified expert to write you a 100% Plagiarism-Free paper

Cite this page

Sandra Cisneros' The House on Mango Street. (2021, May 03). Retrieved from