"Esperanza. I have inherited [my great grandmother's] name, but I don't want to inherit her place by the window." Young Esperanza's opening thoughts in Sandra Cisneros' The House on Mango Street begins with the introduction of a surprisingly insightful disadvantaged Hispanic girl named Esperanza, who has just moved into a poor Latino neighborhood. Esperanza's opening remarks foreshadow a theme that continues to develop throughout the entire novel, cumulating piece by piece until a complete puzzle is produced. As Cisneros' Mango Street chronicles an emotionally pivotal year in the life of a young girl, the author herself presumably draws on personal experiences of being raised in an environment in which she struggles and feels like she does not belong. It is evident that Cisneros creatively expresses her own experiences in her writing, and goes so far as to dedicate the book "a las Mujeres," or to the Women. Though not purely biographical, striking similarities of race and background exist between the author and narrator such that Cisneros establishes an understated sense of first-hand credibility to the reader. Cisneros' The House on Mango Street is a cleverly constructed series of interconnected vignettes that recounts the narrator's emotional coming of age and eventual integration of identity. By exclusively employing the first person perspective of a naïve Esperanza and her developing powers of figurative language, Cisneros depicts the young girl's struggle between her developing sense of feminine sexuality and a deep rooted desire for independent autonomy within a culture dominated by societal roles of men.
One of the first significant signs of Esperanza's emerging talents as a writer become especially apparent in the short section Four Skinny Trees. As the narrator is able to articulate her respect and adoration for the four elm trees planted in front of her house, Sandra Cisneros deliberately emphasizes the role of artistic... [continues]
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