The House On Mango Street Essay

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The novel The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisnero is a "Coming of Age" work. The main character, Esparanza, is a young girls trying to find herself and her place in the world. Some factors play an extreme role in her path to self-discovery. The environment she lives in during each stage of her life, the important relationships she forms with those around her, and ultimately, her gender affects her path to self-identity and personal growth. In the book, Esparanza grows up in a mostly low-income area. Her family always promised that one day they would move into a nice home like the ones in the movies. The house Esparanza grows up in is the house on Mango Street. It is cramped, dingy, and the opposite of that on television. As Esparanza is growing up all she wants are friends so she asks her neighbor Cindy to be her friend. "You want a friend, she says. Okay, I'll be your friend. But only till Tuesday. That's when we move away. Got to. Then as if she forgot I just moved in, she says the neighborhood is getting bad" (Cisneros 13). Later that day Esparanza pays five dollars for two girls to be her friends since Cindy is moving away. When Esparanza has to pay for friends or can only have a friend 'til next Tuesday, it causes her to doubt her self worth and negatively affects her self-esteem. Cindy is right about the neighborhood though, and Esparanza explains that when outsiders come in to their area and become scared. "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" (Cisneros 28). She endures racism because she lives in a poor area that people assume is dangerous, which is partly true when Cisneros talks about stolen cars and sexual assualt in the novel. Growing up in a bad area doesn't give

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