The House on Mango Street – Literature Essay
Norman Vincent Pearle, An American Protestant Clergyman and Writer, states, “One of the greatest moments in anybody’s developing experience is when he no longer tries to hide from himself but determines to get acquainted with himself as he really is”. Esperanza
Cordero lives in Mango Street a barren and ravaged vicinity, where she discovers the hard veracity of existence, the social economical class and gender. Esperanza is faced with numerous obstacles’, such as her apparition of racial antagonism, and the mysteries of her emotional thoughts and sexuality. Living in Mango Street changes the perception of Esperanza from a credulous child into a blossomed and mature young woman. Esperanza is mainly influenced by her; neighborhood, socioeconomic status, and family.
Esperanza’s neighborhood is fundamentally the main aspect of her identity. In the novel, House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros, claims, “The Laundromat downstairs has been boarded up because it had been robbed two days before” (Cisneros 4-5). Even though the Laundromat had been robbed, Esperanza is not bothered by it, knowing that her neighborhood is ghastly, she is used to it. The robbing of the Laundromat is a significant event, which idealizes the type of neighborhood Esperanza resides in. In the chapter, “Those Who Don’t”, Esperanza describes her neighbor as, “All brown all around” (Cisneros 28). What Esperanza means by “All brown all around”, is that their all similar inhabitants who live in her neighborhood, which explains Esperanza’s identity. The race of Esperanza’s neighborhood is a significant detail in Esperanza’s neighborhood because it identifies what people assume of Mango Street.
Another effect on Esperanza’s Identity is her socioeconomic status. Sandra Cisneros, Author of, The House on Mango Street, states, “Before we lived in Mango Street we lived in Keller” (Cisneros 3). Esperanza’s moving from place to place, describes the socioeconomic status, though Esperanza does not like moving a lot, it is due to the families financial status. Esperanza is affected by moving from one place to another, because getting used to a new area is not a fast experience. Esperanza’s socioeconomic status is a negative influence because the house on Mango Street was not the house, Esperanza’s father described. In the chapter, “The House on Mango Street”, Esperanza states how the nun pointed at her house and said, “You live there?” (Cisneros 4-5). Esperanza was hurt when she realized that the nun was surprised at the state she lives in, due to her socioeconomic status. This impacted Esperanza’s Self-esteem and knew that living wasn’t Mango Street was not temporary.
The Final element of identity that describes Esperanza is her family. Sandra Cisneros, the author of House on Mango Street, exclaims, “Until then I am a red balloon, a balloon tied to an anchor” (Cisneros 9). What Esperanza means is that her little sister is getting in the way of her finding friends, since she has to take Nenny everywhere she goes. Elaborating on the balloon tied on to the anchor, Esperanza could mean that the string is the symbol of their family. Esperanza is affected by her family in the chapter “House on Mango Street”, when all family member have to live in one bedroom. This say a lot thing about Esperanza’s as family member, because taking care of Nenny isn’t enough, she has to share a room with all her family member, which shows a lot of persistence and determination. Esperanza loved her family and always wonders how she belonged in a family like her, but she knew there was a reason why she was there.
In conclusion, Esperanza’s attitude changed as the novel went on she experienced many difficulties, but she managed to overcome these obstacles and still thrive. Esperanza’s identity is influenced mainly by her; neighborhood, socioeconomic status and family. Living in Mango Street was a challenge for Esperanza at first, but coming towards events like being raped at the carnal to being kissed by an old man on his birthday all changed her perspective and gave her a new clear vision of her surrounding, At the end of the novel Esperanza wasn’t a credulous or naïve anymore, she was educated and ready to leave Mango Street, a Street she will always remember. As the great Pablo Picasso said, “Inspiration does exist, it must find you working”
Cisneros, Sandra. The House on Mango Street. New York: Vintage Book, 1984.