House on Mango Street
Representations of Identity on Mango Street
Cisnero's acclaimed work The House on Mango Street explores a variety of themes in her photographic stories which capture everything from the seemingly banal triumphs of a small child to the tragedies suffered at the hands of cultural and social prescripts and finally to the mature introspections of a confused but wildly talented young woman. The short novel is essentially a coming-of-age story, one that depicts landmark events of Esperanza's life in the heavily stylistic vignettes that form the novel all while retaining a regular chronology that divides her juvenile and mature life into sections.
The tale begins with a snapshot of Esperanza's home on Mango Street; the home which is viewed under the critical gaze of the perceptive child who struggles with the home as a representation of several failures. First is the failure of her parents to provide the idyllic future that they promised, the future that was to unfold in the white-picket-fence suburban dream-house they described as they moved from apartment to apartment.
However, the house is more frequently seen as symbolic of the potential failure of never escaping Mango Street and not being able to realize the dream through her own agency. If her parent's...
Join Now to View Premium Content
GradeSaver provides access to 905 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 7159 literature essays, 2010 sample college application essays, 296 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.
Already a member? Log in