The House On Mango Street

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The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros Sandra Cisneros tells of the problems that Latino women face in a world that treats them like second class citizens. This is a world where men rule in the culture. This society values women only by how they look. They don’t care about their character. She intends for us to see these issues of the subjugation of Latino woman in their culture. The women are seen just as objects by the men, all men regardless of their relation to the women. The girls grow up thinking that looks and appearance should be the most important things to women as well as men. Latino women are to be loyal to their husbands, and husbands deserve complete rule in the relationship. Esperanza is beginning to think differently than the other girls of the neighborhood, even though she was born and raised in the same way as all the women around her. She is not content with this expected role of women. She believes that someday she will escape the burdens of her culture placed on women. She knows she has a good mind, strong will and a talent for telling stories. She returns to her old neighborhood later as an adult through her stories, showing them they can live their own lives and be independent women. This is Cinceros' way of giving back to the women in her community. The women and girls in this story really care about their appearance and whether or not men are attracted to them. They are raised with one simple mantra, be attractive, get a man, let him be the boss, get married or have no income. The character Marin is an example of this mantra. Marin‘s idea of the ideal job is working downtown, because as she says, "you always get to look beautiful and were nice clothes” (26). She tells the girls in the neighborhood the only thing that matters “is for the boys to see us and for us to see them” (17). Here that mantra is at work again.
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