Plots[ edit ] The story begins with Esperanza, the protagonist, describing how her family arrived at the house on Mango Street.
These themes seem to be interrelated in that the first and second named grow directly out of the third. The theme of love as power is most apparent in some of the "Woman Hollering Creek" stories, but it appears even in Mango Street, in the lives of Esperanza's acquaintances and in her own youthful experience.
Rafaela, Minerva, Mamacita, and Sally — after her marriage — are all overpowered by their husbands, physically or otherwise, as a matter of course.
Whatever the relationship between her own parents, it seems that Esperanza sees a normal love-and-marriage relationship as one in which the man holds and exercises complete power over "his" woman.
The only alternative, she believes, would have the woman holding complete power. In "Beautiful and Cruel" she decides that she prefers that option, but a possible relationship in which power is held equally by both partners, a more-or-less equal give-and-take relationship, or even one in which power is not a major factor or weapon seems not to occur to her.
Interestingly, the love-equals-power relationship is figured here in several instances as visual gaze: Boys stare at Marin, and she boldly returns the gaze; Sire looks at Esperanza, and she affects not to be frightened; women who have been disempowered or who have never had any power look out through a window at what they cannot have.
Alienation and Displacement Another important theme in both books is the individual's feeling of alienation or displacement. Esperanza in Mango Street expresses the feeling often, saying she does not "belong" where she is and that she wishes she were from somewhere else — although Alicia assures her that she "is Mango Street" and will carry it with her when she leaves there.
In the "Woman Hollering Creek" stories, various characters' express similar feelings: Cultural Traditions Both of these themes — that of love-as-power and that of alienation — seem to proceed from the third and larger theme of the individual's conflict with a tradition that is both cultural and familial.
Almost every female character in both books experiences the intensely potent force of this tradition influencing her to follow her Latino family tradition into marriage, when she would cease to "belong" to her father and begin to "belong" to her husband.
Those who do resist it are likely to remain partly and unhappily within the tradition, in that their relationships with the opposite sex are still power struggles.
To the extent that they are successful in their resistance, they remain unhappily alienated from their own cultural roots and the feelings of loyalty they cannot eradicate.
Another is Clemencia, who heeded her mother's advice not to follow tradition, but who then became alienated from her mother and involved in a long, obsessive "love" affair with a married man who, ironically, is attracted to her cultural identity as a "Mexican" but would never divorce his wife and marry her because of that identity.
One such is "Ixchel" in "One Holy Night," who has become in her own mind sort of an embodiment of the ancient mythos into which her lover — himself deeply alienated, to the point of probable insanity — initiated her. Raised in a very traditional household and apparently happy there, she easily made the transition into an older tradition — and is saved, by her lover's physical and effectively complete disappearance from her life, from having to reconcile the myth with mundane existence.Both their protagonists (Esperanza in The House on Mango Street and Estrella in Under the Feet of Jesus) not only experience discrimination as Latinas at the hands of mainstream Anglo-American culture, but are also discriminated as women within Mexican culture, whose traditional gender roles leave little room for female self-identification.
I was reading a book called, "The House on Mango Street" and the gender roles were engage where the men had the power and the women were the cleaners and the people that do everything in the household. Examining The House on Mango Street for the politics of gender provides mystery and suspense.
The discovery of secret and underhanded schemes that cause faction within a family, referring mainly to father/daughters, men/women, is at the center of this unit.
Esperanza is not a big fan of the gender roles that keep women in her community oppressed. Men on Mango Street beat their wives and daughters and confine them to the home.
Just being a women is sometimes cause enough for abuse – a fact that we observe in the beatings that Sally constantly receives, and in Esperanza's rape. Acclaimed by critics, beloved by readers of all ages, taught everywhere from inner-city grade schools to universities across the country, and translated all over the world, The House on Mango Street is the remarkable story of Esperanza Cordero.
Told in a series of vignettes – sometimes /5. The House on Mango Street is made up of vignettes that are not quite poems and not quite full stories.
Not wanting to write directly about herself, Cisneros constructs the book in a combination of genres pulling mantles of poetry, autobiography, and fiction.