Mango Street

In: English and Literature

Submitted By termpapers1
Words 984
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Reading Response: The House on Mango Street
The various allusions to children’s stories and popular culture in Sandra Cisnero’s The House on Mango Street portray a shift in the feminist paradigm toward publicly rejecting the societal conformations to gender roles, specifically those of women, and also function well in providing a connection between the characters of the stories and the readers. Esperanza, the main character, seems to be invested in a fantastical view of the world that she alludes to in describing her experiences and telling her stories. In the course of the development of Esperanza’s character, it can be seen that while she first admires and aspires to be the Cinderella that she feels like when the shoes given to her fit, she grows into a person that uses stories as a means of escape—her recital of “The Walrus and the Carpenter” to Ruthie—and finally, in her allusion to Rapunzel when she describes Rafaela’s marriage, it seems that Esperanza comprehends the clichéd gender roles and realizes women accept their lives as helpless objects in need of rescue. Besides these instances, various other women, such as Marin, “Waiting for a car to stop, a start to fall, someone to change her life” (27). Also, any reader who has experienced Western culture in her upbringing would either relate to and be affected by Esperanza’s changing attitude toward fairy-tales and children’s stories. Although Esperanza’s connection to such tales might be naïve and not a transformation at all, they are sure to agitate readers to the blatancy of male oppression. The theme of women admiring such patriarchal portrayals as Cinderella or accepting the role of Rapunzel, and the like, who need to be rescued and will not aspire to reach beyond what is granted to them by men connects the lives of different characters and is central to The House on Mango Street.
In the novel, Cisneros…...

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