When do race and gender come into conflict in The House on Mango Street? Does one triumph as the more important concern, or do both issues receive equal consideration?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The conflict between gender and race seems to center around the fact that misogyny is embedded in the machismo of Esperanza's Latino culture. In the third vignette, Esperanza discusses how she sees this gender inequality early in her life.

The boys and girls live in separate worlds. The boys in their universe and we in ours. My brothers for example. They've got plenty to say to me and Nenny inside the house. But outside they can't be seen talking to girls.

Not only do the girls see the difference at a young age, the boys are also aware of the unspoken rules in their culture regarding gender; girls are not spoken to in public.

Esperanza also faces racism because of the stereotypes that others have regarding Latinos—for example, that they are all in gangs and carry knives.

Those who don't know any better come into our neighborhood scared. They think we're dangerous. They think we will attack them with shiny knives. They are stupid people who are lost and got here by mistake.

Esperanza faces...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 826 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

Posted on

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

Posted on