Literary Response #1:
In the vignette-styled novel, The House on Mango Street written by Sandra Cisneros, the vignette titled, “There was an Old Woman She Had So Many Children She Didn’t Know What to Do”, may seem insignificant at first when Cisneros begins to describe a woman with a lot of troubled children, a common scenario in neighborhoods such as Mango Street. Then as we delve deeper into the passage, we begin to realize that the mother, Rosa Vargas, is neglectful, which may not be her fault; she is troubled with the amount of children she has and plagued with the burden of sadness that her husband left her with all of these children, alone and with no money to aid her. These children are starving for attention and by practically raising themselves. At first, members of the community attempt to help with their upbringing but eventually, because of the lack of results, the people become tired of trying and stop caring. They don’t care when the children hurt themselves, even when Angel Vargas falls from a great height and dies, “…and nobody looked up not once the day Angel Vargas learned to fly and dropped from the sky like a sugar donut, just like a falling star, and exploded down to earth without even an ‘Oh’”. Cisneros seems to be playing off the old African saying, “It takes a village to raise a child”. This vignette is included to bear the question, who is to blame for Angel's death? Himself, because he behaved recklessly; his absent father, whose departure no doubt contributed to his lack of respect "for all things living, including [himself]"; his mother, who was not watching him but who at the same time was unable to do so effectively; or his neighbors, for not caring for or about his actions?
Cisneros chooses to include Rosa Vargas in this vignette. Rosa also represents the challenges faced by single mothers. She has more children than she can count and is plagued with despair after her husband leaves her without a penny to help take care of...
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