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Prejudice And Discrimination Essay

1238 words - 5 pages

Man is born with preconceived notations about almost everything they encounter, whether that notion happens to be voluntary or not. Prejudice is best described as the belief that people are inferior to another or a different group (Baird 6). It is a form of hatred, along with bigotry, racism, discrimination, and the formation of stereotypes. When the word prejudice is brought up in a conversation, it may be believed to only refer to prejudice often seen between dark and light skinned people. However, prejudice is much deeper than a person's color. The types of casual bonds between attitudes and actions can be seen in prejudice. Language, usually slang, is often used in an attempt to ...view middle of the document...

It can be found in the short story "A House on Mango Street", by Sandra Cisneros, told in the first person point of view. It takes place in a poor Latino neighborhood in Chicago, over a period of about a year. Discrimination seems to be a key theme in this work of literature. The protagonist, Esperanza comes to experience what seems to be discrimination many times throughout the course of this story, some she directs at people, and some directed at her. In the story, Esperanza is discriminated against for no reason but that they have a different lifestyle, due to their economic status. In the story, Esperanza says strangers who come into their neighborhood are scared of being stabbed, and they have come here by accident (Cisneros 28). This perfectly depicts how people carry fallacies. Another instance is Esperanza's rendezvous with the head nun. She wanted to remain at the school and eat lunch with her peers, and she had a note from her mom allowing her to do so. When she goes to ask the nun, the nun replies in a very unscrupulous tone, saying "You live there?" Esperanza's thoughts were "The way she said it made me feel like nothing (5)." The nun's assumption is clearly based on ethnic stereotypes, and although Esperanza does not acknowledge this, the woman's comments and incredulity add to Esperanza's pain and suffering.The title "A House on Mango Street" has more significance than meets the eye, for there are many symbolisms attached to it. First, the actual sign for Mango Street has a symbolism to it. Mango Street is a street sign, a marker, that circumscribes the neighborhood to its Latino population ("Background to The House"). Esperanza, is a very optimistic and wishful person. She does not like her home, and would rather not disclose her whereabouts. Her ideal house is far away from Mango Street. At the end of the story, Esperanza says she will move far away from Mango Street some day. She has a dream of how she will accomplish her goal. In the story, Esperanza conveys the belief that for a person to be "at home", they must have a house that can be proudly displayed to friends and family. She says "I knew then I had to have a house. A real house." (Cisneros 5). This shows Esperanza's longing for normality, to fit in with the society around her, so she can avoid being discriminated against, for her background is different from that of her classmates...

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