What is the theme and how does the theme relate to the setting? Could you use specific examples from the story?

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kapokkid | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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There are a number of themes in The House on Mango Street, one of the major ones is that of coming of age.  As Esperanza looks out on her world, her understanding of it is shaped by the barrio itself and limited because that is the only world she knows.  It is not until she ventures outside of it that she can fully be mature.

Another theme that is related to the setting is that of culture or heritage.  Esperanza and her family are from Mexico and the separation they feel from non-hispanics is palpable and in some ways made more real or noticeable by the setting of the story.  Within the barrio, Esperanza and Nenny and the rest of her family are normal and they know what to expect.  Outside of the barrio things are very different.

One other theme is that of a woman's role in society and this is also explored within the boundaries of the barrio and the way that women within it act and understand their role.


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