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Symbols In The House On Mango Street

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Symbolism is the key to understanding Sandra Cisneros’ novel, “The House on Mango Street”. By unraveling the symbolism, the reader truly exposes the role of not only Latina women but women of any background. Esperanza, a girl from a Mexican background living in Chicago, writes down what she witnesses while growing up. As a result of her sheltered upbringing, Esperanza hardly comprehends the actions that take place around her, but what she did understand she wrote in her journal. Cisneros used this technique of the point of view of a child, to her advantage by giving the readers enough information of what is taking place on Mango Street so that they can gather the pieces of the puzzle a get the big picture. Esperanza begins her journal by stating where she has been and where she has temporarily ended at. When she finally moved with her family, Esperanza immediately realizes that her place in the world was not going to be in the “small and red”…show more content…
In unique ways for each girl, “home is a prison” and the only way they escape it is through Esperanza (Kalay 123). Esperanza is a symbol of hope as her name foretells. From the beginning Esperanza attracts the girls of the neighborhood to her side. One of the older Latina girls in Esperanza’s life is Alicia. Being a young lady of about 18, Alicia, takes her mother’s place as the one who cooks and cleans. She works hard from sun up to sun down then goes to the university. Alicia symbolized all the young women who worked hard enough in life to one day escape from the poor streets of Chicago. But like many Latina females, Alicia had a difficult life with her father, who abused her as Cisneros suggests. Alicia could escape the poverty but in the end she was just another woman in a male dominant world and nothing more. Not many girls were like Alicia; Sally, for example, was the
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