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The House on Mango Street

by Sandra Cisneros

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In The House on Mango Street, what is one stylistic device used in the chapter "Hairs"?

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This incredible novel is full of small vignettes, or fragments emerging from the impressions of the young narrator who reports about her life on Mango Street from her perspective. Each vignette or chapter thus is incredibly vivid as it communicates aspects of her existence told from her child-like perspective. "Hairs" focuses on how she classifies different members of family by their different hair. Most of all, she focuses on her mother's hair, which is described as follows:

But my mother's hair, my mother's hair, like little rosettes, like little candy circles all curly and pretty because she pinned it in pincurls all day, sweet to put your nose into when she is holding you, holding you and you feel safe, is the warm smell of bread before you bake it...

Note the number of stylistic devices in this one long sentence as the narrator is overwhelmed by the memory of the smell of her mother's hair. It is compared to "rosettes" and "little candy circles" using two similes. A metaphor is used to compare its smell to the "warm smell of bread before you bake it." You might want to re-read this small vignette and see how many other stylistic devices you can identify. Good luck!

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