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What are six metaphors from The House on Mango Street?  Why are they important?

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melmel654 | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 2) eNoter

Posted February 16, 2010 at 6:21 AM via web

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What are six metaphors from The House on Mango Street?  Why are they important?

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cetaylorplfd | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted February 27, 2010 at 9:06 AM (Answer #1)

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Some examples of metaphors in The House on Mango Street are as follows:

"Until then I am a red balloon, a balloon tied to an anchor." (9)

"You can never have too much sky." (33)

"Today we are Cinderella because our feet fit exactly. . ." (40)

"But I think diseases have no eyes." (59)

"Everything is holding its breath inside me.  Everything is waiting to explode like Christmas." (73)

"You will always be Mango Street." (105)

Metaphors are figures of speech that make direct comparisons between two seemingly unrelated things.  Explore your interpretation of the story to see how the above lines are metaphors in Esperanza's story.

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted December 21, 2014 at 5:05 AM (Answer #2)

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The House on Mango Street is a novel narrated by Esperanza who, along with five members of her family, move into a barrio and must live in a red house that does not even have running water. She is so disgruntled with this house that she wants to go somewhere else. She narrates,

Someday I will have a best friend all my own. One I can tell my secrets to. One who will understand my jokes without my having to explain them. Until then I am a red balloon, a balloon tied to an anchor.

In this metaphor Esperanza compares herself to a red balloon because her house in painted with red paint and it resembles a balloon that is tied down because she is trapped in that barrio with no hope for her future. 

Then, Esperanza remarks that she and her sister are alike in several ways, one of which is their laughter, which is 

Not the shy ice cream bells' giggle of Rachel and Lucy's family, but all of a sudden and surprised like a pile of dishes breaking.

In other words, her sister's and her laughter are not light and giggly, but sudden and crashing, like dishes breaking'

Another example of metaphor comes when Esperanza goes to "Elenita, witch woman..." who reads the tarot cards. After she deals some out, she says,

Here a pillar of bees and this a mattress of luxury

These are metaphor for hardships and times of comfort.

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