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House on Mango Street
Esperanza. Esperanza. As a young girl, Esperanza is a young girl who looks at life from experience of living in poverty, where many do not question their experience. She is a shy, but very bright girl. She dreams of the perfect home, with beautiful flowers and a room for everyone. When she moves to the house of Mango Street, reality is so different than the dream. In this story, hope (Esperanza) sustains tragedy.
The house she dreamed of was another on. It was one of her own. One where she did not have to share a bedroom with everyone. That included her mother, father and two siblings. The run down tiny house has "bricks crumbling in places". The one she dreamed of had a great big yard, trees and \'grass growing without a fence\'. She did not want to abandon where she came from, but she knew she wanted to be free of everything that life on Mango Street brought. "They will not know I have gone away to come back. For the ones I have left behind". She is committed to her roots on Mango Street.
We witness Esperanza blossoming from a innocent, shy girl to one who witnesses much, but all of this makes her strong and clear about her desires for her life. What she sees is the male domination (machismo), violence and rape.
The violence in the home was ordinary to those that lived there and Esperanza knew this. It didn\'t make Sally stronger. Sally is abused by her father "He never hit me hard", as her mom tends to her wounds. Sally eventually leaves home and gets married at a young age. She ends being abused, instead by the fist, by mind control. Her new husband treats her like a prisoner in her home. "She sits at become afraid to go outside". The leave home, she would need permission. She evolves from a victim of child abuse to a slave-like wife.
Esperanza sees this despair throughout her story. In "My Name, "She looked out the window her whole life, they way so many women sit, with their sadness on an elbow". Abuse to Rafaela, again subtle because she does not go out, in fear of husband.
Poverty on Loomis, Keeler and Paulina; poverty is a way of life. The impact is for all generations, the parents who cannot get out, the children that see it and the little ones who cannot know any better. The opportunities are limited in the barrio. Esperanza was embarrassed when she pointed to her house "there". "There?", as if there was no place for a girl to live. But survival is instinctive and there is a certain amount of barrio pride "Those who don\'t know any better come into our neighborhood scared. They think we are dangerous. They think we will attack them with shiny knives. They are stupid people who are lost and got here by mistake." The victim of being called a "rice sandwich". Hurt by the sister superior as she points to a row of ugly houses reminding Esperanza of the sin of being poor.
Machismo is something seen in the domestic situations throughout Hispanic people. The violence, the subservience that is expected and the men believe the women are second and are second class citizens. There role is to be domestic housekeepers and to birth children. Alicia makes tortillas for her father. When Esperanza is raped, she is again taught of the power of (some) men.
But throughout her growth Esperanza gets very clear that she will not live as those around she sees. She wants independence. She knew getting out would help her achieve her dreams. She was motivated but everything she experiences.
She learns about trust when Sally told her the circus would be fun, only to be raped. Her shyness (eating alone in the company lunchroom), and about being gullible. In Cathy Queen of hearts, Cathy says, "father will have to fly France and find her cousin and inherit the house." She believes that everything will be good. But she feels incredibly stupid for not for not knowing better. But she does learn. When she learns that the box, is a music box. She is ashamed for not knowing. Despite all
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Chicano literature, The House on Mango Street, Esperanza, Esperanza Rising
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