The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

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What are six metaphors from The House on Mango Street?  Why are they important?

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In The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros, the house itself is a metaphor. "It's small and red with tight steps in front and windows so small you'd think they were holding their breath" (page 4). The house, and the other metaphors that the author regularly uses, stand for the pervasive sadness and occasional joy that characterize life as a poor latino family in the United States.

For example, even Esperanza's name is metaphorical. As Esperanza, the narrator of the novel, says, "It is the Mexican records my father plays on Sunday mornings when he is shaving, songs like sobbing" (page 10). Her name, which means hope, is also tinged with sadness because her family hopes for a better life in the United States that they have not yet achieved. Her great-grandmother, described metaphorically as "a wild horse of a woman" (page 11), was also named Esperanza, but her future husband carried her off  "as if she were a fancy chandelier" (page 11). In other words, her great-grandmother's hope...

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