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The house on mango street

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Jessica Cotto

on 7 May 2013

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Transcript of The house on mango street

The House on
Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros About the Author Plot Summary Gender Class Race &
Ethnicity ESPERANZA AND GENDER The women described in the novel all depend on their husband or father for financial support. The women in Esperanza’s life are physically and emotionally abused. They cannot leave their home without the permission of their husband or fathers.
Esperanza comes from a strict catholic family. Her religion places a strong emphasis on family values.
Esperanza is poor. The poverty she is surrounded by affects her experiences with gender.
Esperanza has limited resources in her community.
The women of mango street affect Esperanza experiences with Race, Class and Gender.
The novel consists of various female characters that help to shape Esperanza’s experiences and define who she is to become as a woman.
I will focus on how the women around her affect her experiences with Gender. Gender and the women
of Mango Street Esperanza’s school friend who is physically abused by her father. For Sally being a woman means being a victim and not being able to defend ones person. Sally experiences teach Esperanza not to depend on her femininity to grow. Sally Alicia Alicia efforts prove that woman can define themselves and move forward in life on their own merit. To Alicia being a woman means studying hard to have an opportunity to become
independent. Rafaela Rafaela lives locked in her apartment because her husband is afraid she will run away. To Esperanza Rafaela is an example of the dangers of feminine beauty. Women are punished for being beautiful. Beauty can be seen as a burden in the novel, Esperanza even states, “we are tired of being beautiful” after he friend Rachel is almost attacked by a bum in the streets who wanted a kiss (Cisneros, p. 42). Marin Marin is waiting for someone to save her. She is uneducated and living with family as a babysitter. Esperanza learns from Marin’s experiences that in order to move ahead in life one must be educated. Otherwise one would be stuck and at the mercy of others. Minerva Minerva is not much older than Esperanza yet has 2 children. She does not have the opportunities that Esperanza has. For Minerva being a woman means being a mother forgiving a man who beats you. Mamacita Mamacita lives a miserable in a country that she does not understand. She does not speak English. She moved to the U.S. to join her husband. Resents her son for learning English. Esperanza wants to become independent Esperanza does not want to live by the limitations of her gender. She wants to be independent.
Esperanza states, “I have decided not to grow up tame like the others who lay their necks on the threshold waiting for the ball and chain.”
In a house of her own she would be herself and she would not have to adhere to the restrictions of her past tradition. “Not an apartment in back. Not a man’s house. Not a daddy’s house all my own” (Cisneros, p. 108). Esperanza is surrounded by women who live in a man’s house or a daddy’s house. Esperanza wants to be free of the restrictions placed on her identity.
Esperanza develops a sense of autonomy that helps her define herself through her writing and her interactions with those around her. The first example was the grandmother who was a free spirit young woman before she was forced into marriage. She was not in love with him and she lacked the happiness needed to have a healthy relationship. She spent the rest of her life in depression.
In the same way, Rafaela is a woman who is locked in her apartment by her husband because of his fear that she would run away. She was discontented with her life on Mango Street and especially unhappy with the way he treated her. She was banned from communication with others. She had to sneak to get pleasures like sweet juices from
outside. Minerva is young girl who is barely older than Esperanza but she is already married with two children. Her husband is very abusive towards her and treats her like she is worthless. He often leaves for a long time and returns with a violent rage that he always takes out on her.
These three women are frequently mentioned to be sitting looking out their windows at the streets. This portrays them as a vulnerable group that has a desire for more but they are unable to speak out. Their voices and free will are stifled and overpowered by the men in their lives. At this point they are complaisant and accept their position. Esperanza questions if their behavior is one of them feeling they could not do better or were they miserable because their ability is hindered. She refuses to be in the position they are. Womanhood is also a situation brought up that changes Esperanza mentally and matures her. Her first encounter with womanhood is when she tries on her neighbor’s high heels with her friends. The heels transform them from 12 year old girls into women as they play dress up.
Puberty enhances her sexual yearning for boys. She develops a friendship with Sally who is sexually bold. Even though her influence is bad she creates a new attitude in Esperanza. She encourages her to sexually free and become “beautiful and cruel” like the bold and powerful women in movies.
The character of Alicia explains the idea of female responsibility in the best way. She is an intelligent young woman who has hopes that her future will be better than her current lifestyle.
The character Marin, puts her hopes in a rich white man rescuing her from the life she lives. Her dependence on someone else to save her instead of trying to change herself is her downfall. She is described as a dreamer who has no definite goals so she has no control over her destiny and will fail. Lower class neighborhood filled with lower class families with run down houses and apartments
Esperanza’s house is so small she has to share a room with her parents, two brothers, and sister
Esperanza is ashamed of her home
“It’s small and red with tight steps in front and windows so small you’d think they were holding their breath. Bricks are crumbling in places, and the front door is so swollen you have to push hard to get in. There is no front yard, only four little elms the city planted by the curb. Out back is a small garage for a car we don’t own yet and a small yard that looks smaller between the two buildings on either
side” Esperanza got her first job at around twelve years old
Because her parents did not make that much money Esperanza needed to get a job so she can have her own money and help her parents out financially
“It wasn’t as if I didn’t want to work. I did. I needed money. The Catholic high school costs a lot, and Papa said nobody went to public school unless you wanted to turn out bad" Born in Chicago in 1954, the 3rd child and the only daughter out of 7 kids. She is a Mexican American writer.
Studied at Loyola University of Chicago B.A in English (1976) and received her masters in the University of Iowa in creative writing (1978)
Worked as a teacher and a counselor to high school dropouts Her writings often deal with the formation of Chicana identity and the challenges that may come up with being stuck in between two different cultures. Often inspired by her personal experiences and observations from within her community.
Cisneros founded the Alfredo Cisneros del Moral Foundation in 2000. Named in the memory of her father, the foundation has awarded over $75,500 to writers born in Texas, writing about Texas, or living in Texas since 2007 The House on Mango Street takes place in Chicago where the narrator lives, and in Mexico City where she visits extended family.
Wrote many novels the House on Mango Street however sold over 2 million copies. 2009 marked the 25th anniversary for this novel which is still very popular in sales
Some of the things that were written in this story did really happen to her. There is no mango street in Chicago but there is a Mango avenue but she did not know that avenue existed until after the book was written. The house was really on Campbell street but decided to not name the book the house on Campbell street because of Campbell soup. Inspiration Came to her over one weekend in grad school and she was 22 years old.
Did not like way her culture was portrayed always felt that the stories that portrayed her culture were all lies.
Always felt as if her house was never spoken about. She seen many stories that where people spoke about her house. The nun asked Esperanza where she lives so she points to the third floor where the paint was peeling, wooden bars nailed on the window by Esperanza’s father so none of the children would fall out the window. “You live there?” The way the nun said this to Esperanza made her feel like she is nothing with no value, a lower class living in a poor society.
This occurred when Esperanza was living on Loomis then moved to The House on Mango Street which is not the house she wants. Esperanza is embarrassed to tell people where she lives. The bike scene where Esperanza needs five dollars when she only has three and takes two dollars from her sister Nenny .
Esperanza leaves her friendship with Cathy by pitching in for a bike that she will share with her friends Lucy and Rachel who have $10 and the bike cost $15.
They all want to ride the bike since its brand new so they decide to ride it all together that same day. Cynthia Even Seen as being very poor living in poverty and shame at where she lives.Takes money from her younger sister without her knowing assuming she would like the bike. Instead of owning her own bike she has to own it with people who are not family related. Esperanza Shameful of her name.
Inherited it from her great-grandmother.
In English, means "hope".
To her, means "sadness, waiting, too many letters."
Associates it with depressing things like "muddy colors, songs like sobbing."
"At school they say my name funny, as if the syllables were made out of tin and hurt the roof of your mouth. But in Spanish my name is made out of a softer something, like silver,” p.11
“I wish my name was Cassandra or Alexis or Maritza-anything but Esperanza”p.15
Ashamed of her heritage and wants to change her name to something more common Jessica As those of her ethnicity move in, many of the older residents leave.
“Then as if she forgot I just moved in, she says the neighborhood is getting bad.”p.13
“they'll have to move a little farther north from Mango Street, a little farther away every time people like us keep moving in.”p.13
Attempts to rationalize by saying she prefers the neighborhood to be "All brown all around, we are safe."
“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 out eyes look straight.” p.28 Diversity Diversity that comes with her ethnicity allows her to have an open mind when thinking about life.
“The Eskimos got thirty different names for snow,” ”There are a million zillion kinds, says Nenny. No two exactly alike.” p.35
Some do not gain this insight and see things in terms of black and white
“There ain't thirty different kinds of snow, Lucy says. There are two kinds. The clean kind and the dirty kind, clean and dirty.
Only two.”
Esperanza's diversity with hair within her family allows for an understanding that there are many categories that are not broken into two groups.
"Everybody in our family has different hair. My Papa's hair is like a broom, all up in the air. And me, my hair is lazy. It never obeys barrettes or bands. Carlos' hair is thick and straight. He doesn't need to comb it. Nenny's hair is slippery-slides out of your hand. And Kiki, who is the
youngest, has hair like fur. Mamacita Brought over by her husband.
"And then to break her heart forever, the baby boy, who has begun to talk, starts to sing the Pepsi commercial he heard on T.V"
"No speak English, and bubbled into tears. No, no, no, as if she can't believe her ears." Cadillac "Those who don't know any better come into our neighborhood scared. They think we're dangerous. They think we will attack them with shiny knives. They are stupid people who are lost and got here by mistake.”
Neighbor's brother shows up in the neighborhood with a yellow Cadillac with white interior and automatic windows.
After hearing sirens while driving the children around “Louie's cousin stopped the car right where we were and say Everybody out of the car. Then he took off flooring that car into a yellow blur."
Never define if it is legally his car, but because of racial profiling, he probably didn't feel like it mattered.
He crashed the car into a lamppost and “they put handcuffs on him and put him in the backseat of the cop car, and we all waved as they drove away.” Jazmine Ariel Lilian Natalie The house on Mango Street is centered on Esperanza Cordero. A twelve year old Chicana who moves into a house located on a racially segregated neighborhood. Although the house is an upgrade from their old apartment (since her parents actually own it) it is nothing like she had dreamed of. The house is dilapidated and run down and it embarrass Esperanza dearly. Esperanza is also ashamed of her name which when said by those who are not Spanish speaking sounds ugly to her and also makes her feel ugly in appearance. The name means hope in Spanish and that is exactly what she portrays to be for all the woman of her neighborhood who sit and stare out of a window as life passes them by and they are controlled by their husbands. The name is also significant because it was the name of her great grandmother who was forced to marry and dominated by her husband. She also wants to stay away from a life like her mothers who admits to have been very smart but wasted it all to be a housewife and tend to her husbands every need. This life dominated by race, male dominance, gender, poverty, opposition is the life that
Esperanza wants to escape. Esperanza quickly befriends Lucy and Rachel, two Chicana girls who live across the street. Lucy, Rachel, Esperanza, and Esperanza’s little sister, Nenny, have many adventures.They buy a bike, learn exciting stories about boys from a young woman named Marin, explore a junk shop and discuss it all over a game of double Dutch., Yet this all changes when they hit puberty and they become sexually vulnerable, such as when they walk around their neighborhood in high-heeled shoes or when Esperanza is kissed by an older man at her first job and later sexually assaulted by two boys Esperanza’s newfound sexual maturity, combined with the death of two of her family members, her grandfather and her Aunt Lupe, bring her closer to the world of adults This is when Esperanza begins to question her future and she refuses to marry a man to leave the neighborhood for doing so will only live a dominated life by a man. This is even more of a failure. To escape Esperanza secretly writes poems that she shares only
with older women she trusts. In the end Esperanza finally finds herself emotionally ready to leave her neighborhood, however, she discovers that she will never fully be able to leave Mango Street behind, and that after she leaves she’ll have to return to help the women she has left. And so Esperanza becomes this beacon of hope just like her name truly represents for all the women of the neighborhood. At the end of the year, although Esperanza remains on Mango Street, she has increasingly matured. She has a stronger desire to leave and understands that writing will help her put distance between herself and her situation. Though for now writing helps her escape only emotionally, in the future it may help her to escape physically as well.
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