Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Sexuality and Culture in 'The House on Mango Street' and 'Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe' College

In latinx children’s literature, there are themes that are more prevalent in this genre than other. In Sandra Cisneros's The House on Mango Street and Benjamin Saenz’s Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, the two latinx protagonists Esperanza and Aristotle deal with sexuality and gender roles, family relationships, and racial and ethnic identity. The coming of age stories of Esperanza and Aristotle display the unique struggle that comes with being a young adult of a minority heritage and the how their culture becomes an additional factor in themes throughout the text. Like other coming of age stories in The House on Mango Street and Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe the main protagonists are growing and begin to learn a lot about their sexuality and the gender roles of the environments that they live in.

It is made clear early on that Esperanza understands the gender roles in the latinx community when referring to her grandmother, “She was a horse woman too, born like me in the Chinese year of the horse - which is supposed to be bad luck if you’re born female – but I think this is a Chinese lie because the Chinese, like the Mexicans, don’t like their woman strong” (Cisneros,10). Based...

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