The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros is about a girl who struggles finding her true self. Esperanza sees the typical figures like Sally and Rafaela. There is also her neighbor Marin shows the “true” identity for women on Mango Street. She also sees her mother is and is not like that at the same time. The main struggle that Esperanza has is with beauty. This explains why most of the negative people that Esperanza meets on Mango Street, and her gender, helped her see the mold she needed to fill in order to give herself an identity.
Esperanza sees all of the women around her, and most of them are the same. The overall idea of the women on Mango Street is they are property to their husbands. They cannot do anything unless their husbands allow them to. It also starts out at a young age. The young girls like Esperanza see the women that live around them and think that is the way to live. They admire them so they start to mature faster than they should. Sally is one of them. Sally loves the attention that she gets from boys, but her father does not like that. Sally grew up and got married at a young age.
“Sally says she likes being married because she gets to buy her own things when her husband gives her money. She is happy, except sometimes her husband gets angry and once he broke the door, where his foot went through, though most days he is ok. Except he won’t let her talk on the telephone. And he doesn’t let her look out the window.” (Cisneros 101) Sally takes the in the influence of the other women around her that she thinks that marriage is the best thing for her. Esperanza saw this coming when she knew that she would not be able to save Sally. That is because it was already happening. Esperanza saw that Sally was turning into them. Them referring to the people like Rafaela. Rafaela is another example of the typical woman figure on Mango Street. “And then Rafaela, who is still young but getting old from leaning out the window so much, gets locked indoors because her husband is afraid Rafaela will run away since she is too beautiful to look at.” (Cisneros 79) All the men on Mango Street are portrayed the same way, as jerks that objectify women and all the women take on the role of being the objects. This whole situation works two ways and Esperanza can see that.
Marin is another representation of what Esperanza sees of a grown woman. “Her name is Marin or Maris or something like that, and she wears dark nylons all the time and lots of makeup she gets free from selling Avon. She can't come out – gotta baby-sit with Louie's sisters – but she stands in the doorway a lot, all the time singing.”(Cisneros 23) This explains how Marin is a usual feminine figure. She wears make-up and dress maturely while also staying home to take care of kids. This is a basic stereotype of the women. She also learns about girly things from Marin. “She is the one who told us how Davey the Baby's sister got pregnant and what cream is best for taking off...