House on Mango Street

What's the metaphor about hair?

Chapter Hairs

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Different kinds of hair works as a metaphor for the distinct members of the narrator's family. For instance, Nenny's slippery hair seems to match her wistful and dreamy disposition, which the reader will see develop throughout the course of the novel. The single most important hairs for the narrator to describe and the reader to understand, however, are those of Mama. By reading the description of "little rosettes, like little candy circles all curly and pretty," we conjure an image of the mother's appearance and personality. The repetition of the adjective "little" alludes to her dainty physique, as well as the daughter's fascination with the exquisiteness of such hair, so different from her own unruly locks. So too, the shapes- flowers and sweets- that the narrator sees in her mother's curls helps us understand the narrator's regard for her mother's beauty and goodness; indeed, her hair fulfills both a the feminine ideal and the ideas childhood nursery rhyme idea of what little girls are made of- sugar and spice and all things nice..