The House On Mango Street Analysis

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Crossing Borders
Borders detach us from the outside world; it constricts us with its walls and warps us into bystanders to the events occurring around us. Borders are a central theme in The House on Mango Street as we witness different characters trying to cope with the borders that enclose their daily lives, some attempt to cross it while others are held back by it. A common border which manifests in the stories throughout The House on Mango Street and Woman Hollering Creek is the boundary between the two opposing genders: male and female. This border between genders is created because of the expectations and stereotypes that are placed upon them, further contrasting the inherent differences between them and erecting a border that causes friction between the two groups. This border, stemmed from the differences between the two genders, manifests in different forms and are broken by different characters in the stories of The House on Mango Street as well as Woman Hollering Creek.
The inherent differences between males and females that started the creation of this boundary between genders can largely be attributed to the fact that “...boys and ...girls live in separate worlds”, each group often only associating with their own kind, thus generating distinctions between the groups as well as borders (Cisneros 8). Many of the female characters such as Esperanza and Sally in The House on Mango Street cross this boundary genders by exploring their own sexuality as they come of age. Consequently, the crossing over of this border further generates more borders which are all encompassed by this greater boundary between males and females.
An offshoot of the border between genders is the boundary between marriage and free will. In the storie...

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... over this boundary and transforming herself from a lover to a mother. Besides her pregnancy, Graciela and Felice also act as catalysts in her crossing over as they give her the means to leave La Gritona, the arroyo which symbolizes the borders inside her psyche; and her abusive husband, and return to Mexico, her true home. Furthermore, Felice cements this transformation by showing her that women can have a strong voice in a male-dominated society with her hollering and ownership of “a pickup”(Cisneros 228).
In conclusion, we see how this boundary between genders is amorphous yet binding as it perpetuates the male dominant societies in The House on Mango Street and Woman Hollering Creek in various forms, enclosing women within its walls. For women “[t]o survive the Borderlands”, they “must live sin fronteras (without borders)/ be a crossroads”(Anzaldua 38,39-40).
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