House on Mango Street

The House on Mango Street: How a Childlike Perspective Impacts Esperanza’s Understanding of Others College

Because Sandra Cisneros writes from a child’s point of view in her novel, The House on Mango Street, her audience gets a glimpse of what life is like for a child struggling with her identity as a Latina girl; Esperanza is a child who hopes that, one day, she will escape poverty and be able to live in the home she has always dreamed of, not just a house that serves as a constant reminder of her family’s struggles and her embarrassment to live somewhere with such an unflattering appearance- inside and out. While the young-minded narrator certainly provides insight of what Esperanza’s truths are while growing up, it also provides an opportunity for a psychoanalytic approach to Esperanza’s perspectives on those around her. More so, it allows the way she views others to be related to the reader-response theory, in that she does not always read other characters accurately. In one way, Hans-Georg Gadamer’s ideas can be connected to Esperanza because of how she, like readers of a text, sometimes tries to find meaning in what a person says or does before the entire meaning can actually be found (Gadamer 722). On the other hand, her inability to understand some of the children around her can be explained through Sigmund Freud’s theory of...

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