House on Mango Street

Latinx American Identity in The House on Mango Street College

Having a Latinx American identity is an incredibly complex experience that tens of millions of Americans all share. A combination of African, European, and Native heritages have melded into a unique Latinx culture, and being Latinx in America often means straddling the Latinx culture of one’s ancestry and the American culture one is surrounded with. As a Latina woman living in the United States, this experience becomes deeply personal and resonates within me. Preserving pride and respect for one’s culture while also accommodating to American life can become a bit of a balancing act that dramatically impacts one’s life. In Sandra Cisneros’s The House on Mango Street, Esperanza Cordero, the young protagonist, experiences this identity divide herself. Her youthful encounter represents a situation that millions of Americans still experience every day. In her article “Adolescent Journeys: Finding Female Authority in The Rain Catchers and The House on Mango Street”, Christina Rose Dubb of the University of Pennsylvania notes this encounter as she defends her thesis that Esperanza uses her literary abilities to understand her identity and the world around her using Julie Langer’s four stances of envisionment-building. Rather than...

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