The layer of concrete surrounding the roots of the trees is a metaphor for the barrier between Esperanza’s success and her community. These four skinny trees are located in the middle of an impoverished city that is plagued with crime, prostitution, and sense of hopelessness. Because all of these cycles are nearly impenetrable, they are a metaphor for the concrete that lay on top of their roots. This slab will forever sit on top of the downward facing roots separating them from the vertical growth that is above them. Ironically, the roots under the concrete support the same slab that is hindering their growth. Without the support of the individuals living on Mango Street, the layer of socially formed concrete would crumble into dust; however, becau...
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...Cisneros 110). Her internal strength is strong enough to let her grow beyond the constraints of her community, but she will never reach her full potential until she returns to change the roots that made her that way. Esperanza then chooses to develop the core of her personality despite living in the middle of tangled roots, which ultimately leads to her escape.
When I grow up, I want to be Esperanza. I want to think critically, exhort change, find beautiful elements in ordinary texts, and affect my fallen community with the fruits of my internal strength. If Esperanza had not chosen to use both the positive and negative effects of her community as inspiration, she would have entrapped herself and failed to influence the hurting society around her. Instead, she chooses to act like the trees and build her internal strength so that she may reach others effectively.
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