What is the theme of "Hairs" from The House on Mango Street, and what lines describe the vignette's tone?

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dymatsuoka | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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The theme of the vignette "Hairs" is family, the differences in each member of Esperanza's family as evidenced by their hair, and the special place her mother holds as the family's center. 

The narrator spends the first half of this short piece describing the hair of her father, herself, and her siblings, and through her descriptions, she gives each member a distinct individuality and conveys a sense of what each person is like.  Esperanza then goes on to describe her mother's hair, emphasizing the matriarch's importance to the family unit by devoting as much space to writing about her as she has to the rest of the family put together.  In talking about her mother's hair, Esperanza evokes a tone of peace and security and love.  She says,

"my mother's hair, my mother's hair...sweet to put your nose into when she is holding you, holding you and you feel safe, (it) is the warm smell of bread before you bake it...you sleep near her...Papa snoring...the rain, and Mama's hair that smells like bread" (Hairs).


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