Monday, November 28, 2011

The House on Mango Street Research Paper

The House on Mango Street Essay

The book tells "a story about a girl who didn't want to belong" (p. 109). It relates a young girl's little world, from whom she would escape because it suffocated her and looks very sad and unright. Nevertheless, she knows she is part of that place and she can only go away with her fancy. In fact, even if she is very young, her sensibility makes her able to understand other people troubles and to capture the bitterness of their lives. More exactly, men's taking advantage and women's disillusion are what most make she feel bad.


The book is written in a very informal manner, that reproduces a diary style. In fact, the sentences are usually short and the direct dialogues are reported without inverted commas. Thus, even the technique is according to a story told from a girl's point of view. Moreover, the narration is organized into brief chapters too, the majority dedicated to persons who used to live on her same street. So that, the story develops through these characters, their problems and difficulties. Properly, the writer reports how they are taken in by the protagonist's finest feelings. As a matter of fact, every section contains an atmosphere of desolation. Every characters's description is narrated with a bitter taste, even if the writer is never very explicit. Marin, for example, was "waiting for a car to stop [...], someone who change her life" (p. 27). And there is Rosa Verga, who "had so many children she didn't know what to do" (p. 29). Or Minerva, that "cries because her luck is unlucky. Every night and every day" (p.84).

Then, there are female characters imprisoned in a man's world. Like Alicia, who "is afraid of nothing except four-legged fur. And fathers" (p. 32). Or Rafaela, that fancies about women that can "open homes with keys" (p. 80). Or Sally, her friend, who sometimes wishes she hasn't to go home, to her father. So that she gets married to escape, but she finds another time imprisoned "looking at the walls [...], at the linoleum roses on the floor", symbol of a supposed happy matrimonial life (p. 102).

So that, the book is centered on man's dominance on woman, even when she talks about her personal experience. In fact, in the episode of her first job, she tells about an old man who forces her to kiss him and furthermore, she recounts when she was raped. Moreover, she describes a feeling of hate when sees a woman yielding to man's rules: "I don't know why - she writes- but something inside me wanted to throw a stick" (p. 96). All these experiences make grow into herself a feeling of anger and impotence, but more than this, she feels misunderstood. As a matter of fact, she doesn't find a place that belongs to her. The house on Mango Street "isn't her house. Even the garden "that had been such a good place to play didn't seem hers either"(p. 98), after Sally's misadventure.

The story of The House on Mango Street is not exactly centered on what only happened in this place. More exactly it tells many similar experiences and many people pieces of life. So that, the house on Mango Street is not only a house. It represents a whole world, governed by man's rules and injustices. Thus, when the protagonist thinks about the house of her dreams, that would have to be "not a man's house. Not a daddy's" (p. 108), she is wishing a world all her own, a different world. For this reason she puts on paper her experiences, so that "the ghost does not ache so much" (p. 110) and she can feel free. So that, her only freeway is to go away "for the ones who cannot out" (p. 110).

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