The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros Analysis

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Updated: Mar 28, 2022
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Sandra Cisneros is the author of The House on Mango Street. Her book is focused on a young girl named Esperanza. Throughout the novel Esperanza seeks love, a friendship, and a higher quality of life, but the cold truth is the reality she faces in the actuality of the world. A theme in this novel is for Esperanza to separate herself from society and become a powerful women. She has a desire to break through the cycle of sexist behaviors in her culture.

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Esperanza does not feel a part of her community in Chicago. When it comes to sex she prolongs it because of sexual assault. She has an American dream to own a home, represent hope as her name states it and not follow in her grandmother’s footsteps by spending her time looking out of a window.

Esperanza yearns to break free from her society’s rules of gendered roles. She has to care for her younger sister Nenny because she feels as if that is her responsibility. Plenty of latino households portray a younger sibling as the responsibility of the eldest. She believes that Mexicans do not want their women to be powerful and have a voice for themselves. This way they can be weak and powerless, always dependent on what a man can bring to the table. Her great-grandmother was an example of a powerless women, contrary to whom Esperanza wanted to be. Her great-grandmother did not want to marry but she was taken away and made a wife, thereafter she spent her time looking out of a window, troubled but nothing ever changed.

At a young age she wanted to make decisions for herself. Her name was something she was embarrassed of. She wanted a name that was english and easy to pronounce. Throughout the novel she adapts to her name but it was an obstacle for her. She wants love from a man but she does not want to feel imprisoned like her great-grandmother was. She will create her own identity one that she can be proud to tell.

An American dream is the pursuit of a financially better life and to live with a lavish style. The American dream that Esperanza wished to reach was to own a home. A home where she did not have to share a bedroom with six people. A nun was shocked by a home where Esperanza once resided because in the nun’s eyes that could not have been a home. It was not a home in Esperanza’s eyes either, she wanted a home where she could point to it and not feel ashamed to admit she laid her head there at night.

In the city of Chicago, Esperanza realizes that she does not fit in. Her parents may make as much income as their neighbors but she does not feel at place living there. She herself wears worn out clothing but is ashamed to communicate with girls who dress like her in old crooked clothes. The locals did not experience luxuries or cars with an automatic window for that matter. Louie’s cousin stole an automobile to impress the neighborhood children. He knew that he would not make it far but it was the joy ride he was looking forward to, he wanted to have something luxurious even if it was only for a few minutes. She was in awe when she seen such a beautiful Cadillac. She has not had an affluent lifestyle and is shameful of her living condition. Esperanza aspires a brighter future in a life where she is far away from Mango Street.

Her name “Esperanza” means hope, and she will live up to it by leaving Mango Street and using her powerful words to endure strength in her future. Her writing is her willpower and leverage into leaving poverty and having her own home. She never fit in living in Chicago. She will help the ones who cannot escape the poverty and give them a hand. The life of the poor kids left behind will not be forgotten in Esperanza’s future.

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