House on Mango Street

Esperanza: The Hero Who Broke the Cycle

“One day I will say goodbye to Mango. I am too strong for her to keep me here forever. One day I will go away . . . They will not know I have gone away to come back. For the ones I left behind. For the ones who cannot out” (Cisneros 110). The House on Mango Street focuses on the mental progression of Esperanza as she observes her community. Many critics argue that this story illustrates a modernized bildungsroman because Esperanza matures into a young woman and attains an appreciation for her society due to her experiences. Yet Esperanza is an observer through the majority of the novel, and she forms an identity that opposes the typical female on Mango Street. Furthermore, Esperanza embodies several heroic attributes and represses them in order to fulfill what she believes is the norm for women, but after observing the “imprisonment” these women face, she becomes determined to escape the same fate. Although Esperanza lacks the experience and maturity to escape Mango Street, she recognizes, with the help of her community and mentors, that she is a pre-determined heroine who is able to break the redundant cycle of entrapment and, through writing, able to return to Mango Street after finding success to save other generations of...

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