The novels The House on Mango Street (Cisneros 1984) and Woman Hollering Creek (Cisneros 1992) relate the new American through the eyes of Cisneros. The women in both novels are caught in the middle of their ethnic identity and their American identity, thus creating the "New American." Cisneros moved between Mexico and the United States often while growing up, thus making her feel "homeless and displaced" (Jones and Jorgenson 109).
The House on Mango Street characterizes a community of girls and women restricted in their movements within the barrio. The roles of these girls and women are translated through the eyes of a child. When women in the barrio are confined, they can become a victim of abuse due to male domination. Women are confined to interior spaces in addition to their domestic roles as daughters, wives, and mothers. They live inside the barrio, but desire to escape and live outside the barrio. In addition, women can escape their restricted lifestyle by receiving an education. Esperanza, the child narrator is the only one who escapes this ethnic lifestyle (Mullen 6).
In The House on Mango Street, the vignette "My Name," Esperanza was named after her great grandmother, desires a life outside her interior walls of the barrio. Esperanza’s name means hope in English, while it means sadness and waiting in Spanish. Her great grandmother was wild as a young lady, but was tamed by her Mexican husband. Cisneros states, "She looked out her window her whole life, the way so many women sit with sadness on an elbow . . . I have inherited her name, but I don’t want to inherit her place by the window" (11). Esperanza is proud of her namesake...
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Mullen, Harryette. "A Silence Between Us Like a Language:
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Cisneros’s Woman Hollering Creek." Gale Literary
Databases Summer, 1996. 22 Oct. 2000
Olivares, Julian. "Sandra Cisneros’ The House on Mango
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"Sandra Cisneros." Contemporary Artists. Vol. 64. 1998.
Wyatt, Jean. "On Not Being La Malinche: Border
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