Shoes Symbolism In ”The House On The Mango Street” By Sandra Cisnero Essay Sample


Sandra Cisneros was an American and a Mexican writer. She was the lone miss in a household of seven. something which led to her much solitariness. This drove her to the avocation of reading every bit good as frequent motions between Chicago and Mexican metropolis. She started composing back in high school. which came as a consequence of her esteem of the poets she knew so. She attended the University of Iowa. and besides the Loyola University. She she subsequently worked at Chicano which was in Chicago. as a instructor of the high school dropouts. and besides as an administrative helper. It was through these occupations that she understood the jobs experienced by the immature Latinos. and this gave her the inspiration to compose this novel. ( Tusmith 3 ) .

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The house on the mango street is based on Esperanza. a character whose name is allegorical and which means “hope” . She is a hapless adolescent.

and a Latina who longs for freedom and a house of her ain. She appears to be confused as an stripling. and lacerate between the determinations of instruction over matrimony. At the same clip. she wants to accomplish her release through authorship. Esperanza struggles with the troubles of turning up in “Mango Street” which is hapless vicinity in Chicago. Cisneros explores on many subjects in her work. which she manages to convey out good by using symbolism in her novel. ( Tusmith 168 ) .

Symbolism is the art of utilizing symbols particularly through usage of things which have a symbolic significance. It is besides done by showing the intangible through the usage of the seeable representations with an purpose of go throughing certain message. through that symbol. Symbols can be colourss. objects. figures. characters or any other thing depending on the abstract concept the writer wants to stand for Cisneros uses symbols to stand for complex thoughts in the novel. and besides to back up the subjects and motive she has. She employs different symbols. but I shall brood on the analysis of “shoes” symbol in the novel. ( Whitehead 11 )

In the house on Mango Street. places are used to arouse the images of grownup muliebrity and sex. They are used to stress on the struggle which exists between her coming up beauty and the longing for her independency. For the first clip. she makes the relationship between sex and her places. when she tries to have on some high-heeled places with her friends: Lucy and Rachel. and places which they had been given by a neighbour. When they wore the places. their ugly “scarred. infantile feet” and legs become transformed into those slender and long women’s pess. The male neighbours are non pleased with the behaviour. because this was something they had started as a game for childhood. and now it had turned to be something unsafe for them. ( Chesla 101 )

Cisneros uses this symbol as off of heightening the subject of coming of age through gender vs. liberty. Esperanza’s ends are clearly depicted in the novel. She yearns for flight to travel and remain in a topographic point of her ain. At the same clip. she has begun to be a mature miss. and she is engulfed by the male desire. which dominates her ideas. The desire and ends seem to conflict. because after detecting the married adult females. she learns that they are bound by their matrimonies. She so begins to experience that what she desires to make can non work for her. Esperanza yearns for the vicinity male childs but she does non desire to acquire married. neither have kids. ( Chesla 102 )

In the afternoon of the same twenty-four hours they wore the borrowed places. Esperanza and her friends abandon them. They claim that the places bored them. They now appear like kids once more after casting the attraction they had acquired. This symbolizes the manner Esperanza and her friends aspire to be like the ace adult females they see about. through borrowing the behaviours from them. but which they can non pull off. They so end up abandoning their wants and travel back to their original manner of life. However. Esperanza can non make off with the places when they appear once more. because she knows that they add to her beauty and attraction. She manages to acquire a new frock. which she wears at a certain dance. together with some brown saddles. Several work forces nag her for a dance. but she denies it because she is really witting on the sort of places she is have oning. “Worn out and for a small child. ” Esperanza is ever lament on adult females at her vicinity and at the same clip she is possessed with the myths of adolescence and gender superstitious notions. She wants to be “beautiful and cruel” such that work forces would non ache her. but will love her. By making so. she is seeking to unite liberty with gender. to look like sally. a mature friend she intends to befriend. She besides wants to be like the adult females she sees in films. “They bloom like roses. I continue because it’s obvious I am the lone 1 who can talk with any authorization. I have scientific discipline on my side. The castanetss merely open. Just like that. One twenty-four hours you might make up one’s mind to hold childs. and so where are you traveling to set them? Got to hold room. Boness got to give. ” That was Esperanza’s impression. ( Cisneros 50 )

Esperanza discovers that boys stare at her places at the dance. She chose to dance with her uncle. after turning down many petitions from the work forces. On a different note Esperanza admires sally’s places which she describes as “black suede” . and she wants to convert her female parent to purchase such for her. though she is non certain whether she would win. This is symbolism of how Esperanza admires the ways of sally whom she sees taking a good life. Esperanza is abandoned by sally at the garden. because sally wants to chat up with work forces. All what Esperanza thinks is ; her pess are ugly. “I looked at my pess in their white socks and ugly unit of ammunition places. They seemed far off. They did non look to be mine any longer. And the garden that had been such a good topographic point to play did non look mine either. ” ( Cisneros 98 )

This character struggles a batch with individuality. She is even ashamed of where she lives. because that is non her dream place. She describes it as ; “small and ruddy with tight stairss in forepart and Windowss so little you would believe they were keeping their breath. Bricks are crumpling in topographic points. and the front door is so conceited you have to force hard to acquire in. ” All what Esperanza wants to be is a nice lady. with a good flat. but poverty bounds her dreams. “Everything is keeping its breath inside me. Everything is waiting to detonate like Christmas. I want to be all new and glistening. I want to sit out bad at dark. a male child around my cervix and the air current under my skirt… non every eventide speaking to the trees. tilting out my window conceive ofing what I can non see. ” ( Cisneros 73 )

Places appear to be some beginning of decency to Esperanza. But when she is sexually assaulted. she realizes that it is truly difficult to be barbarous and beautiful in a society like this. which is dominated by work forces. She realizes that holding relationships with work forces in her vicinity would non assist her to derive any independency. “I have begun my ain quiet war. Simple. Sure. I am one who leaves the tabular array like a adult male without seting back the chair or packing up the home base. ” ( 89 ) But another warning surprised Esperanza. “a circle. understand? You will ever be Esperanza. Always on Mango Street. You can’t wipe out what you know. You can’t bury who you are… . it was as if she could read my head. as if she knew what I wished for. I felt ashamed for holding made such a selfish want. ” ( 105 ) ( Tusmith 168 )

Esperanza had to set aside the sexual consciousness which she had freshly found. to fall in her friends she had abandoned ; Rachel and Lucy. whom she had felt to be less mature. hence her befriending of sally. Merely as they abandoned the borrowed places. she abandons the issue of male childs. and opted to pass much clip on authorship. At the same clip she goes for liberty. alternatively of gender. which subsequently gives her a opportunity to get away. She says ; “I knew so I had to hold a house. A existent house. One I could indicate at. But this is non it. The house on Mango Street is non it. For the clip being. mamma says. Temporally. says dad. But I know how those things go. ” ( 5 ) ( Tusmith168 )

Esperanza ever wanted to borrow new thoughts and behave otherwise. She wanted to make a new image of herself through gender. Cisneros uses the symbolism of places to demo how this miss wants to be different. from looks. to even geting a place of her ain. This revolves around the motive of individuality hunt and definition. But subsequently Esperanza realizes that it was non a good thought to detach herself from the vicinity and her household dealingss. This is the ground as to why she stops coercing her gender. She besides abandons the thought of altering her name. All this came after she was assaulted. an act which made her feel demoralized. She says “they will non cognize I have gone far off to come back. For the 1s I left behind. For the 1s who count. ” ( Cisneros 134 )

To reason. I can state that. Cisneros wrote. pulling back to her childhood experiences. and her ethnicity. Her book explores on the suppression of cultural minorities in America. and how they struggled to achieve some individuality. Mama Cordero is the typical illustration of the adult females in America. whose lives are dictated by many things. She reveals to Esperanza that she was born on an evil twenty-four hours. but she would pray for her. “Most likely. I will travel to hell…mother says I was born on an evil twenty-four hours and prays for me. Lucy and Rachel pray excessively. For ourselves and for each other… . ” ( 58 ) . The writer embarks on this symbolism to portray the cost of individuality hunt in a pluralistic society. She eventually shows how Esperanza accepts herself and her place in the community. All borrowed idiosyncrasies could non last. and she settles down as a author. after interacting with other authors and cognizing that composing was more helpful. She realized that it would assist her accomplish her ends and desires subsequently in her life. and that she would be able to travel from Mango Street emotionally and physically. It can be said to be a powerful novel. rich in symbolism. ( Whitehead 81 )

Work cited.

Chesla. Elizabeth.Sandra Cisneros’ the house on the Mango Street. Research and

Education Assoc. . 1996. ISBN: 0878910204.

Cisneros. Sandra.The House on Mango Street. Arte Publico imperativeness. 1991. ISBN:


Tusmith. Bonnie.All my relations: Community in Contemporary Ethnic American

Literatures.University of Michigan imperativeness. 1993. ISBN: 047208285X.

Whitehead. Alfred.Symbolism. its significance and consequence. Capricorn imperativeness. 1959.

Hypertext transfer protocol: // World Wide Web. jstor. org. Hypertext transfer protocol: // World Wide Web. Galileo. usg. edu/literature-criticisms.

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