House on Mango Street

How does Esperanza feel about her two languages-- and by extension, about her two cultures?


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 Esperanza is proud of her own language but also realizes the necessity of speaking English. Those who do not speak English are relegated to the bottom of the socio-economic pile. Esperanza's father could not even order ham and eggs in America because he did not know the words. Esperanza begins to use English more. Not mastering English means a sense of powerlessness an Esperanza refuses to be in tat position. I think that culture follows a similar narrative as language. Although Esperanza loves her culture she also, at times, feels suffocated by it. Embracing some Western ideas gives her a sense of emancipation from what is expected from her by Mexican culture.