The House on Mango Street
Esperanza saw self definition as a struggle, the struggle for self-definition is a common theme, and in The House on Mango Street, Esperanza’s struggle to define herself underscores her every action and encounter. Esperanza must define herself both as a woman and as an artist and her perception of her identity changes over the course of the book. Esperanza portrayed a vivid picture to the audience of her surroundings, the people she encountered, and her interpretation on the events that took place with her and the people in her life at that time. Time and time again Esperanza struggled with how she was perceived and how she wished to be perceived. In the beginning of the book Esperanza wants to change her name so that she can define herself on her own terms, instead of accepting a name that expresses her family heritage. She wants to separate herself from her parents and her younger sister in order to create her own life. She begins to want to be seen as “beautiful” by men as she matures through the book, Esperanza has to struggle to define what true inner beauty is and she realizes it’s not just when a man tells you he “loves you”. Also at the beginning of the book she makes it very clear that she wished she wasn’t poor and wanted to get a better life for herself with no men. Esperanza lives through the stories and experiences of other characters in the book and eventually becomes involved in them. It takes time for Esperanza to mature and go through some traumatizing things in life in order for her to finally get a sense of self. Esperanza's struggle with self definition will play a key role in the outcome of future, as to what she wants to be and what she wants to avoid beginning. Without the “struggle” which came through trial and error, poverty and sexual assault, she wouldn’t have any idea of who she would want to become as an individual. Without experiences you will never gain knowledge of your own and have to depend solely on...
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