The House On Mango Street

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Cisneros & The House on Mango St.

When you watch the television and see all of these great success stories of people, especially people of color, making it out of the projects, it’s more than likely that you’ll about the struggles they faced during their upbringing. Not to mention that we love to hear stories like these, or in this case read about them. Sandra Cisneros did a great job on illustrating her fictional character Esperanza’s struggles of understanding machismo, her sexuality/gender, and living in the slums on Mango St. Also, she gives you some insight on the transitions immigrants make and how they cope in the United States. Although I had too many chapters from this novel to choose from, I decided to categorize them as much as I could.

The novel mentioned Esperanza’s thoughts on outsiders and how they were afraid to come into her neighborhood only because it was a poor area filled with mostly immigrants. She pleaded her case that the people living there were just as harmless as your average friendly neighbor, and that the average outsider was ignorant and close-minded. What I appreciated from this short chapter is that she didn’t contradict herself. She admitted that it’s the same case if she were to venture out into an unknown area, and doing what any other outsider would do to avoid being mugged saying, "This is how it goes and goes."(p 28)

Another aspect from this novel were the experiences the immigrants faced traveling up to the sates and their clash with American culture, and also the consequences of being an undocumented citizen. For instance, in the chapter, "Geraldo No Last Name", Esperanza talks about a man named Geraldo, an illegal alien who is killed in a hit-and-run accident. There isn’t anything that the authorities can do as far as contacting his family, and not to mention some of the controversy that was happening within the hospital walls when the surgeons didn’t show up and help out the young man. I think that this sort of thing still happens today, although it’s still not as extreme, it just goes to show how inhumane our system can be towards undocumented immigrants and the lower class in general.

On the other hand, in the "No Speak English" chapter, a man brings his wife and child to the states in which he has a difficult time assimilating his wife into an American lifestyle.

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