The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

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What are two examples of allusion, hyperbole, and symbolism in The House on Mango Street?

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An interesting allusion is in the vignette entitled "The Family of Little Feet." In this section, Esperanza and her friends are trying on old high-heeled shoes. The girls feel as though it is Christmas because of the unexpected gifts. They also feel like Cinderella because they are wearing such fancy shoes. The allusions are presented as follows:

Today we are Cinderella because our feet fit exactly (40).

The First Annual Tarzan Jumping Contest

Immediately, the images of Cinderella and Christmas bring to mind the way the girls feel about their experience with the shoes. Furthermore, both Cinderella and Christmas are allusions a reader would probably know and identify. 

Another allusion occurs in "Meme Ortiz" when some of the children in the neighborhood have "The First Annual Tarzan Jumping Contest." Since Tarzan is known for his ability to jump great distances between trees, this competition name is an allusion to his famed abilities.

Examples of hyperbole can be found in "Hips" and "Boys and Girls." When Esperanza discovers her figure is spreading with hips, she also realizes her little sister cannot relate to this new development. Esperanza uses hyperbole to describe the distance in understanding as follows:

Nenny, I say, but she doesn't hear me. She is too many light-years away. She is in a world we don't belong to anymore (52).

Nenny isn't really in a different world or light years away, but the hyperbole helps to explain the way Esperanza feels as she changes physically and mentally during puberty. Also, according to Esperanza, boys don't seem to understand girls, either. She explains the difference as follows:

The boys and the girls live in separate worlds. The boys in their universe and we in ours (8).

Living in a different world or universe from boys is physically impossible; therefore, the reference used here is an exaggeration. This exaggeration is used to explain how...

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