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Symbols In Sandra Cisneros "The House On Mango Street"

6151 words - 25 pages

I. Introduction“It’s small and red with tight steps in front and windows so small you’d think they were holding their breath. Bricks are crumbling in places, and the front door is so swollen you have to push hard to get in. There is no front yard, only four little elms the city planted by the curb (...).” Esperanza Cordero, the main character and narrator of Sandra Cisneros’ novel The House on Mango Street introduces the reader to her family’s house on Mango Street. In short vignettes, the reader gets to know about her life on Mango Street. At the beginning of the Female Ethnic Bildungsroman, Esperanza is a young Chicana girl, who just moved with her family into the house in the Latino section of Chicago. Esperanza tells the stories of her neighbours, her friends and about the experiences she makes. Some people make her feel ashamed because of her home and her cultural background. Represented as a shy girl, who doesn’t want to belong to her neighbourhood and the prospects, her future has for her, she tells the reader about her dream to leave one day Mango Street and have a real home. While Esperanza tells the stories of her neighbourhood, the reader can see her growing up; how she gets into puberty, when she has got her first sexual experiences and see her becoming a woman. Finally Esperanza finds her own way to get along with her life on Mango Street.When Esperanza tells about her life she uses different symbols to describe more personally her feelings, dreams and thoughts. The main symbol, which stands above everything, is the symbol of the house. Following I’m going to analyse the symbol of the house which can be divide into subitems. Esperanza compares the house to the symbols home, family, poverty and shame and the metaphors of waiting women and machismo. After getting information about Esperanza’s feelings to those items, you bear reference to her self-identity. Analysing her personality, you come upon the symbols of her name, shoes, trees and writing. Within the novel Esperanza’s feelings and representation to some symbols change. Furthermore I’m going to analyse how those will change Esperanza’s life. II.Symbol houseII.I homeThe first vignette The House on Mango Street (page 3 - 5) shows Esperanza’s need to have a place of her own, a home she could point to. She tells the reader about her dream house,“(…) Our house would be white with trees around it, a great bigyard and grass growing without a fence. (page 4)”.This gives an idyllic and friendly view of the house she wants to live in instead. It is a home where you can grow up without fences; Esperanza could develop herself on her own way, totally independent. Especially the colour white of the house stands for something new, ideals, innocence and even more modesty.In contrast, the house she lives with her family in, is red and Esperanza’s father had nailed wooden bars on the windows, so that the...

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