Instant Help with The House on Mango Street Essay
Author: Sandra Cisneros
Characters: Esperanza Cordero, Magdalena "Nenny" Cordero, Rachel and Lucy Guerrero, Sally, Marin, Esperanza's Mother, Alicia, Aunt Lupe.
Based on: Some of Esperanza's experiences mirror Sandra Cisneros' childhood in a Chicano community, though the novel is not autobiographical.
Symbols: House and belonging, gender and abuse, coming of age, identity.
Influence: The story highlights the gender inequality, oppression, and abuse girls can experience when growing up in Chicana Chicago communities, such as Mango Street. Cisneros' own childhood experiences may have affected the storyline.
Plot: The novel comprises a series of connected episodes in Esperanza Cordero's life between ages 12 and 13 as her family moves to the Chicago Chicano neighborhood and settles in. The story depicts Esperanza's relationships with her younger sister, mother, and other girls from Mango Street. Separate episodes describe her experience with physical changes and boys, as well as abuse. The story wraps up with Esperanza planning to leave Mango Street and return to help its dwellers.
The novel includes 44 first-person vignettes, ranging in length and narrated in the present tense.
The Before Columbus Foundation awarded the novel the American Book Award in 1985.
The novel has been translated into twenty languages and has sold 6+ million copies worldwide.
Several schools and districts in the US banned the story from curriculums due to the sensitive topics it addresses.
Work on a television series adaptation of The House on Mango Street was announced in 2020.
"We do this because the world we live in is a house on fire and the people we love are burning."
"You gotta be able to know what to do with hips when you get them."
"What matters is for the boys to see us and for us to see them."
"Nenny is too young to be my friend. She's just my sister and that was not my fault."
"I knew then I had to have a house. A real house. One I could point to. But this isn't it. The house on Mango Street isn't it."
Why is this topic important: The House on Mango Street is a seminal Chicano work highlighting the formative experiences of girls of color, making it a part of the required reading list across many ethnic and gender study programs.
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