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House On Mango Street Maturity Analysis

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Sandra Cisnero’s House on Mango Street offers a first-hand account of the poverty encountered by many Mexican Americans. Esperanza, a young Mexican American girl, shares a variety of experiences that closely follow her development of identity and maturity. Throughout the novel, Esperanza follows the process of maturity and learns the ways in which gender, class, and ethnicity affect her place in society. At the beginning of the novel, it is clear that Esperanza has many things to learn about life. In the early chapters, Esperanza focuses on childlike thoughts such as the shame she feels for living in a home that is in poor condition. She describes herself as “a balloon tied to an anchor” (Cisneros 9). It is clear that Esperanza feels trapped in this place in life and feels that she is the…show more content…
For example, because of their gender, women of lower class often allow shame to stop them from pursuing education. This is proven when Esperanza’s mother explains “you want to know why I quit school? Because I didn’t have nice clothes” (91). Because of their ethnicity, Mexican American women are also expected to be subservient to their husbands. When telling the story of her great-grandmother, Esperanza describes “my great-grandfather threw a sack over her head and carried her off” (11). This situation shows that sometimes men of a certain ethnicity assume control over women. People of certain ethnicities that are of lower class are also treated differently because of the color of their skin. Esperanza explains “watch us drive into a neighborhood of another color and our knees go shakity-shake and our car windows get rolled up tight and our eyes look straight” (28). This behavior is common due to the stereotypes that poorer people are more likely to commit crimes. Ethnicity, gender, and class intertwine because of the affects each have on how people are
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