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

One theme of "Hairs" from The House on Mango Street could be the relationship between a person’s hair and the individual. Esperanza says her hair “never obeys barrettes or bands.” Her rebellious hair seems to link to her nonconformist personality. As for tone, you might say that the first paragraph has a more buttoned-up tone and that the second paragraph has a more free-flowing tone.

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This short vignette or prose poem combines several themes. One is the diversity within a single family. The parents and their four children may have various resemblances that allow outsiders to identify their relationship, but they all have different hair.

Another theme is the connection of the family members' hair to other attributes, such as age and character. Nenny's exasperating qualities as Esperanza's immature little sister are reflected in her "slippery" hair. Kiki, the youngest, has hair like a baby animal. Esperanza's description of her own hair is significant for its internal contradiction. She refers to her hair as "lazy" but then says that "it never obeys barrettes or bands." This disobedience is the opposite of laziness, suggesting that the hair has a mind of its own. It is as though Esperanza's dissatisfaction with herself is focused through her hair, leading her to accuse it of all possible faults. Her mother's hair, by contrast, has every possible aspect of maternal...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 985 words.)

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