House on Mango Street

In: English and Literature

Submitted By oduhon
Words 3794
Pages 16
Simon Adelle
UCOR 102
Paper 3
Professor Marcum
Making It in A Man’s World April 29, 2013

“The House on Mango Street” by Sandra Cisneros exposes the life of the main character, Esperanza, for one year as she struggles with trying to find her place in America as a Chicana young girl while also coming of age. The novel starts the day Esperanza and her family of six move into a house on Mango Street, and immediately she expresses her antipathy for not only the house, but also for the area in which they move into and the people around who judge them because of their ethnicity. The story is not told in the traditional format of a continuous story divided into chapters, but rather Cisneros uses forty-four vignettes to allow for the reader to fully understand why Esperanza has the struggles that she has. Along with Cisneros’ illustrating Esperanza’s looking for her identity through images of Esperanza’s thoughts and female obedience, symbolism of violence, legs, the Statue for Liberty, and Nenny, and diction of Spanish words, not using quotation marks, and a maturing tone, she also uses these them to permeate Esperanza’s desperation to leave Mango Street throughout the whole novel.
Cisneros’ use of vignettes highlights important moments in Esperanza’s life that emphasize how she develops over the course of a year. Cisneros uses the brevity of the vignettes to enhance the imagery to give the most vivid image through her limited amount of words for each of the forty-four vignettes. Not writing in these vignettes would have allowed her to portray more lengthy and not as focused images to her readers with more words over longer chapters. Because each chapter is very succinct, it provides readers with short and brief images that reflect the initial thoughts in Esperanza’s mind. As the story prolongs through the novel, the vignettes become…...

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