Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Memoir: The House on Mango Street

The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros is an eye opener. It tell the story of Esperanza Cordero— who live in a poor and rundown neighborhood—and is ashamed and feels like she doesn’t belonging and wants to escape and be free. The House on Mango Street is more than a small, cramped, red house, it was Esperanza’s home it’s where she unlocked the keys to her emerging and evolving identity and how she should always go back and not erase what she knows, how she will always be Mango Street, and how she should never forget who she is.

The memoir explains the social and economic difficulties faced by Mexican Americans, especially women, and the possibilities of overcoming those obstacles and changing the lives living in a poor community. Esperanza has realized this through the women around her: Sally, Marin, and Rafaela. She tries to determine who her role models will be, but she realizes she wants something bigger than getting married or dropping out of school; by that, she overcomes her insecurities and learns about her own strengths and weaknesses.

The book is organized in short series of vignettes, as the story developments the memoirist age increasing, even though it’s not clear you can tell by the maturity she shows throughout. The vignettes show Esperanza’s encounter with her surrounding and her realizations with herself and other people.

The House on Mango Street is a very powerful novel and is it is full of life lessons. From child's point of view Sandra Cisneros has the ability to open our eyes to the sufferings of growing up in poverty in a troubled neighborhood in Chicago. Not many authors have these types of themes and subjects involved in there writing and doing it in such a marvelous way. There are several subjects involved that most of us don’t think about or encounter, making this novel unique and remarkable.

Lines We Love:

“They will not know I have gone away to come back. For the ones I left behind. For the ones who cannot out.”(Pg. 110)

“I want to be
like the waves on the sea,
like the clouds in the wind,
but I'm me.
One day I'll jump
Out of my skin.
I'll shake the sky
like a hundred violins.” (Pg.60)

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