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The House On Mango Street; A Look At The Ties Between Sex, Violence, And Pleasure

880 words - 4 pages

In The House on Mango Street, Esperanza comes across many issues in her neighborhood that relate to “a woman’s future”. Usually, the catastrophe of the commonplace dream that circulates throughout the minds of Esperanza’s peers and like-gendered neighbors starts with sex and ends with violence. Whether the urge to fornicate is a direct lead into violence or just a gateway is a somewhat hard-to-place theory. However, as Esperanza grows she unknowingly stumbles into the predicament herself as her adventures escalate and bring her deeper into the barrios’ barbaric and dangerous nature.
As an example, In “The Family of Little Feet”, a tie between sexual nature and violence is exemplified when Esperanza and her group receive a bag of shoes that insinuate a growing danger. The chapter begins seemingly lighthearted and innocent as the little girls go about wearing high-heels and dance shoes as they parade through the barrios. The author then foreshadows the danger ahead of the group when Mr. Benny tells the girls that, “them shoes are dangerous!” As a response, the girls run away and surprisingly run into a homeless man. The appropriately titled “Bum man” then begs Rachel to kiss him. Aware of an impending danger however, they escape. When looking at this chapter from an introspective point of view, one can clearly tell that the girls see a violent danger that can come from a sexual desire; A desire that would not be as dangerous if the girls had been older, but rather expected since a girl’s dream is to find a man .
The lines get blurred between sexual desire and violence in “The First Job”. Esperanza met an oriental man at her first day of work who said it was his birthday and requested a kiss. Meaning to only kiss the man on the cheek, Esperanza agrees. The man then grabs Esperanza’s face and presses his lips to hers hard and wouldn’t let go. Obviously when the reader goes over this line an emotion of anxiety can be felt. However, examining the text alone does not give the same feeling of violence as it did in “The Family of Little Feet”; Rather, the text gives puts off a tone of indifference. Esperanza agreed to kiss the man (not in the way that happened, but irregardless) and did not even think to recall the Bum Man. It can only be inferred that Esperanza became over the course of time a little more comfortable with such a request.
Ironicly, it appears that in “Sire”, Esperanza embrasses her own sexual desires while still...

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