"Boys and Girls" is the first vignette in the book that describes the gender roles that Esperanza grows up with. The "separate worlds" inhabited by boys and girls is like a metaphor for the sexism and stereotypes that Esperanza has to deal with and longs to escape. Near the end of this chapter, she describes herself as "a [red] balloon tied to an anchor." Here, Esperanza shows the reader how she is very different from the rest of the girls and knows it. The red balloon wishes to fly free, but cannot due to the anchor which is her family. She is resentful of the responsibilities and obligations th...
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...e it a reality.
The House on Mango Street is not a complicated book to read, but it is so simple that the reader can easily miss what Cisneros really means to convey. For most women in this story, there is an invisible shield that keeps them from doing what they want to do and leave their sadness at the window. Through Esperanza's life, we see that for some, there is still hope to escape and soar away. Gender roles, the responsibilities to others and examples set in front of Esperanza did not stop her from getting her own house and becoming a writer. She took all the tragic experiences of her friends and neighbors and used it as a tool to increase her wisdom. Although she may have escaped, she is still close to her roots and knows where she came from. Although she may have flown away and became her own person, she still knows how to fly back to her heritage.
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