The House on Mango Street: Esperanza Experiences

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In the story, The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros had Esperanza tell different stories about her life. Some were good experiences and some were not so good. Each situation she went through thought her a new thing about life. She learned that growing up and maturing is not always easy. Nothing about becoming a woman is easy. Roseanne Barr states that “the thing women have yet to learn is nobody gives you power. You just take it”. This is saying that no matter what do what it takes to be the become a great woman.

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Throughout the story, Esperanza learned that becoming a woman have it is challenges.

The first incident that Esperanza experienced was the bum trying to pay for a kiss from her friend Rachel. Even though it did not happen to her directly, she learned a valuable lesson from that experience. According to the section of the story called “The family of little feet” starting on page 39 , Esperanza states on page 42 that “we are tired of being beautiful”. That day Esperanza learned that even the high heels that girls wear will cause them to get attention from men. Shire Warsan states that “ it’s not my responsibility to be beautiful. I’m not alive for that purpose. My existence is not about how desirable you find me”. This is saying a man shouldn’t just admire a woman just because of her looks. That isn’t all a female have to offer. Esperanza experiences that even the shoes she wear will make her seem more like a woman.

The second encounter that Esperanza experiences with a male was at the baptism party. In the section of the story called “Chanclas” that startes on page 46 , Esperanza has gotten older and is now paying attention to her appearance. According to Lilith Saintcrow, “ better to be strong than pretty and useless”. This quote is saying looks are not worth anything if you can’t do anything. In fact looks does not define anyone. Esperanza’s mother forgot to get her new shoes to match her dress so she is very embarrassed because she had to wear the brown and white shoes she got for school every year. In this chapter Esperanza states on page 48 that “All night the boy who is a man watches me dance”. In this part of the story Esperanza does not seem to be too uncomfortable about a male watching her. In fact, it seems that she likes it or may even be excited about it. Esperanza is now growing up and is becoming a woman because now boys are catching her eye.

The next encounter that Esperanza has with a male is at her first job. In this part of the book Esperanza is now dressing older. The boy that she meets at her job asks for a birthday kiss and while Esperanza is leaning in to kiss him on the cheek he grabs her and kisses her on the lips. According to “A good woman’s love should never be taken for granted. Only a fool would gamble something so precious and so rare”. This quote is saying that men should not use women just to get what they want. Having respect for a woman will make a male seem more attractive to a woman. Esperanza was not happy about the older man giving her a kiss on the lips at all. She has just meet the boy and is not attracted to him in any way. At first Esperanza is comfortable with the boy but he ruined it by forcing a kiss on the lips. She was not ready for what happened to her. The lesson that Esperanza is learning for this is that you can not trust everyone.

The last experience that Esperanza has with a male is in the section called “Red clowns” starting on page 99. In this section of the story Esperanza talks about how she is raped. Even Though she did not say she was raped, the way she explains it makes it very obvious. Esperanza states on page 100 that “He said I love you, spanish girl, I love you, and pressed his sour mouth to mine”. At that time Esperanza is helpless. Esperanza feels like everyone lied to her, especially her friend Sally. states that “Rape is not just a woman’s issue. It’s about men who stop behaving like human beings and start behaving like animals”. She is scared because not only is a boy forcing himself on her but there are multiple boys surrounding her that she does not know and she is all alone. In the section of the story called “ Red clowns”, she learned that not all boys have good intentions.

throughout the whole story Esperanza is learning that becoming a woman comes with many obstacles. with every age comes a different experience of what becoming a woman is really like. Esperanza first experienced shows her how the shoes a woman wear can get a man attention. Esperanza also learns that appearance is something a man loves. The next experience that Esperanza has teaches her that it is important to know that everyone is not trustworthy. The last lesson that Esperanza learns is that not all men are good men. All the things Esperanza went through thought her to be a good woman.

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The House on Mango Street: Esperanza Experiences. (2019, Jan 08). Retrieved from