In The House on Mango Street, if the house symbolizes limited options, then what evidence could I use to back that statement up? Could i just say that she is a Hispanic woman who is poor and has...

In The House on Mango Street, if the house symbolizes limited options, then what evidence could I use to back that statement up?

Could i just say that she is a Hispanic woman who is poor and has less options? But then what does that have to do with the house? How is the house holding her back?

Asked on by polkadotz

2 Answers | Add Yours

lberkowitz's profile pic

lberkowitz | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted on

Let's get personal. As you read, you should try to sympathize with Esperanza.

Have you moved a lot? Do you like where you live? If you could live anywhere, where would that be and what would your house look like? Whom would you live with? Have you ever been embarrassed by where you live or with whom you live? Did you expect more from your new home?

Yes, the simple answer is that she is an hispanic woman living in poverty, but epk is correct that you need to look at the initial vignettes to get a sense of the many places where Esperanza, not Sandra, has lived. You should look at the shame and embarrassment that Esperanza experienced as the nun asked about Esperanza's house on mango street.

More importantly, look at how Esperanza changes throughout the series of vignettes. She goes through some horrid circumstances. She really suffers.

You and I both know that where you live defines your class, friends, and opportunities. If I live on a farm, I am not going to catch the subway. More importantly, property and location has always defined America.

I hope these help.

comptime's profile pic

comptime | Middle School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

First, don't think about Sandra Cisneros, the grown woman and author. Think about the narrator of this collection of stories, that child's voice. What does the house mean to her? Where did she live before the house on Mango Street? What kind of house did she believe she would move into? Then think about what this house on Mango Street represents for her.

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