Essay on Identity: The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

Essay on Identity: The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

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Race, Class, and Culture:
How it affects your Identity
Identity is defined as “the fact of being who or what a person or thing is” (Oxford University Press). Personal identity deals with questions that arise about ourselves by virtue of our being people. Some of these questions are familiar that happen to all of us every once in a while: What am I? When did I begin? What will happen to me when I die? There are many different categories that define us as people (Olson). Our Race, Class, and Culture define who we are so much that it affects how we should live our life.
Race is a classification system used to categorize humans into large and distinct populations or groups by anatomical, cultural, ethnic, genetic, geographical, historical, linguistic, religious, and/or social affiliation (Babylon). In the story, “Everyday Use”, two young girls are raised by the same family but one child acts as if race is not an issue whereas the other child’s race becomes the center of her identity. Maggie knows more about her African American heritage than Dee does. Dee’s identity comes from her upbringing, from her great grandmother, to grandmother, to her own mother. Maggie’s identity seems to be solely based on her race.
The House on Mango Street deals with the issues of not fitting in and being discriminated against because of your race. In the story, “The House on Mango Street”, Esperanza says, “All brown all around, we are safe (Updike). But 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 (Updike). This statement makes me think of how I would feel if I were in Esperanza’s shoes. Esperanza and her family do not feel like th...

... middle of paper ...

...I feel it is still important to hold on to your family’s culture in our current society. We all seem to busy trying to keep up in our society, and forget our history.

Works Cited

Aronowitz, Stanley. How Class Works: Power and Social Movement. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2003.
Nancy , J.. N.p.. Web. 20 Mar 2014.
Olson, Eric T., "Personal Identity", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2010 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL =
Oxford University Press (2014)
Updike, John. “A&P Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing. Ed. X.J. Kennedy and Dana Giola. 12th ed. New York: Pearson, 2013. 17. Print

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