When analyzing tree imagery in literature, especially in a coming of age story like The House on Mango Street, it’s instructive to note how humans and trees have been connected in the history of storytelling.
Myths, folk tales, and works of literature from around the world refer to magical trees that provide food, grant wishes, or act as center points that keep the world in place.
According to Buddhist legend, Siddhartha Gautama found enlightenment while meditating under the bodhi tree in India. In Norse mythology, Yggdrasil is the world tree that forms the basis of the nine worlds that make up the Norse cosmology. British author J. R. R. Tolkien drew on tree symbolism for his concept of the Two Trees of Valinor and his characterization of the Ents.
In the Brothers Grimm version of the Cinderella fairy tale, the beneficial agent is not a fairy godmother but a hazel tree that grows above her mother’s grave and the white bird that lives in the tree, symbols of her deceased mother’s spirit....
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