Visit 12 Book Club Questions for The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros.
As a Latino, I find Chicano literature highly relatable with political and economic implications that can make a difference in the readers and how they perceive the world around them.
In this narrative, we see Esperanza, the main character, trying to find herself and where she belongs. Esperanza rejects Mango Street and refuses to call it home. However, in an innate instinct, people find communities that will welcome them. Communities that will make them feel at peace as if their homeland is with them. Even when Esperanza rejects this Latino town, it is as important for who she is as her name.
Her name, which in English means hope, beholds every ounce of who she is and will be not only for herself but for her mother and other women in Mango Street. Throughout the vignettes, the author shows how Esperanza plays this critical role. How this kid hopes to get out of town, be someone different, and avoid making the same mistakes, and she also holds hope for other people like her mother, who wishes for her to stay in school and build a better life for herself. In the same sense, Esperanza is an outsider in her own decision. She will not fit the standard, the norm, and she will not be like the other girls, and even though this brings her pain, this solace also gives her freedom.
Marriage and independence turn out to be a powerful motifs in the novel. In Esperanza’s clever mind and wistful eyes, she sees how many women in town suffer from marriage. Although her mother seems to have a happy marriage, other women are victims of physical, psychological, and emotional violence from their partners and parents. Many marriages in the novel become torture, and the wife becomes a stay home possession, but Esperanza refuses to subject herself to these barbaric practices.
Although the novel is short and easy to read, the power The House on Mango Street holds surpasses those of modern classics. The perfect text to understand privilege in its different forms and literary artifacts that will blow your mind. “The House in Mango Street” is a must-read for anybody who wishes to develop empathy for a population of 62.1 million in 2020 in the States.
Note: Keep in mind that the Audible Audibook is narrated by Sandra Cisneros herself.
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