In The House On Mango Street, how did Sandra Cisneros make world culture evident in the themes and setting?I know that the culture is Hispanic, but i'm not exactly sure how world culture links to...

In The House On Mango Street, how did Sandra Cisneros make world culture evident in the themes and setting?

I know that the culture is Hispanic, but i'm not exactly sure how world culture links to this novel. If anyone can think of some way world culture ties into this book, that'd be so amazing!

Thanks!

-Ariel

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lprono | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted on

Cultures do not exist in a void and are always in relation and dialogue with one another. In the case of Cisneros, we can find the interplay between the author's descent (the cultural tradition of the barrio and of her Chicano background) and her more cosmopolitan attitude which prompts her to wish to be able to leave the neighborhood one day. The vignettes in the book problematize the relationship between one's own ethnic traditions and the conflic they enter into with mainstream culture. Sometimes, particularly as far as gender is concerned, Esperanza finds that both her own cultural heritage and mainstream culture are unsatisfactory: see for example how she is equally unhappy with the superstitions about sexuality in her community and in popular magazines and movies. The very central image of the book - the house - can represent the tensions between ethnic heritage and world culture as it can be read as a metaphor for the building of one's self and identity. At times, the dialogue between world culture and ethnic culture is not as productive and takes on darker nuances: see, for example, the vignette "Those Who Don't" which illustrates the stereotypes on Latinos held by whites.

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