One major theme in the book is the role of women in a male-dominated society. Esperanza notices the differences between the men's world and the world of the women. The women are tied to the house and the duties of the house. The men live in an external world where they go to work, go out to be with other males, or just go out to have fun. Most of the women aren't allowed this external socialization. They are dominated by either their fathers or their husbands and tied to their duties as a wife and mother. Most girls marry and have children at a young age, only to be left by their husbands to raise their children alone.