The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

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How does Esperanza change over time in The House on Mango Street?

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Although one can not overlook Esperanza’s sexual development in the novella, the primary change she experiences is from childhood to adulthood.

The House on Mango Street is a type of Bildungsroman in which a young Latina girl living in a barrio learns various life lessons as she grows older.

Perhaps the vignette that best illustrates Esperanza’s change from childhood to adulthood is “The Monkey Garden,” which describes an overgrown urban jungle that neighborhood kids like to use as a playground. The story is an allegorical take on the story of the fall of man in the Garden of Eden from the Christian Bible. The innocent childhood atmosphere in the garden is spoiled when Tito and the other boys begin playing adult games with Sally, a sexually precocious girl who is manipulated easily and often by the males around her.

This sin in the garden spoils the innocent fun with which Esperanza associates the place, which fills her with sadness and rage. At first, Esperanza reacts the way a...

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