A person with self-confidence and determination has the power to determine their own future, as shown by two characters in House on Mango Street: Alicia and Esperanza. Alicia is one of the few girls in Esperanza’s community who possesses self-confidence and determination. In “Alicia Who Sees Mice,” Esperanza tells of Alicia’s difficult condition and her display of self-confidence and determination in trying to escape this condition. Esperanza says, “Alicia, who inherited her mama’s rolling pin and sleepiness, is young and smart and studies for the first time at the university.” Alicia is bogged down by responsibilities; because her mother is not there, she has to do all the things her mother would do: cook, clean, and take care of her family. This job is very strenuous and exhausting in itself, but Alicia is simultaneously performing another extremely difficult task: she is attending a university. In Alicia’s community, this is unheard of. But Alicia has self confidence, and this combined with her determination gives her the motivation she needs to pursue a successful university career and determine her own future.
Another example of a person with self-confidence and determination in Esperanza’s community is Esperanza herself. In “Mango Says Goodbye Someti...
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... to her husband. Minerva’s husband has caused so much pain for Minerva, yet he is the one who controls her future. Minerva can not escape her husband; she does not possess the qualities necessary to do so. Sally and Minerva both demonstrate that if a person lacks self-confidence and determination, they will let others determine their future.
In House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros presents the theme that an individual’s future is determined by the individual’s self-confidence and determination to succeed; if a person has these qualities, they will determine their own future, while a person lacking these qualities will let others determine their future for them. Through examples like Alicia, Esperanza, Sally, and Minerva, Cisneros makes this theme clear in her novella, and provides a thorough explanation as to what allows a person to control their future.
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