The House on A Mango Street

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The House on A Mango Street

The novel which is dedicated to women in then society majors its arguments based on feminism, where Esperanza discovers the value of women and what people actually ignore about the roles played by women in our lives. After going through the novel, I noted that the author was trying to explain to readers how most of the women in our society are limited to their own freedom, and that their deeds are not regarded as important over what men do. Gender is one of the main themes in the novel, where Esperanza explains her struggle from running away from her home, just to be away from all the injustices which were going around her place (Doyle, 30). Acts of diminishing the power of women, looking down upon the roles delegated to women and violence in marriages were some of the injustices which were evident in the novel, where women fought for their own peace and freedom of choice. In this paper, I will discuss on the importance of female role models to Chicana women and how cases of abusive marriages were increasing in the society that Esperanza lived.

Female role models in the novel are seen to act or do things their own way, without considering other people’s feelings or decisions towards certain things. According to the rites of passage of the Chicana women, every woman should wear heels during a certain stage in her life, to symbolize passage of the rite. Female leaders in this case take the role of ensuring the every lady has passed through that action, an act which is somehow opposed by some of the women. To quote the novel, the author says; “presented with a lesson on what it means to be a grown-up woman in America contemporary patriarchal society, the girls decide to cast away their high-heeled shoes” (Cisneros, 101). The statement means that some of the practices which were done in the name of passage of rites were not pleasing to every person subjected to them, and it was the work of their role models to ensure that this mentality dies completely. In this case, the female role models in the novel failed to do their work in guiding other ladies according to what and individual wants, and decided to follow the traditional way of doing their roles.

Capitalism is also linked to how role models do their work as the author emphasis on saying that the people in that society are blinded by the fact that a woman should be domesticated while the husband looks for satisfaction of special needs. “Traditional female bildungsroman has played a direct role in endorsing and upholding the cult of domesticity for women and the image of a woman as the angel in the house” (Cisneros, 97), is a quote which clearly shows that female role models do less or nothing in changing the traditional perspectives and switching to new formalities which can help both men and women. Female role models should always be ready to fight for the rights of fellow men, and offer them a go through towards achievement of certain goals and encouraging them to act according to what they are comfortable at. Female role models in this community have failed to uphold change towards such old formalities, where they affect generations due to deep belief in old traditions.

All the women in Chicano community, according to the author, are subjected to oppression and sexual abuse in their marriage relationships except Esperanza. Sally, one of the key victims in domestic and sexual abuse goes through a hard life from being beaten by her father up to being married to a man who controlled her entire life. By quoting the novel, sally’s “father attempts to control her sexuality cause her to exchange one repressive patriarchal prison for another” (Cisneros, 6), meaning that the girl fights for her safety severally when her father attempts to beat her, then ends up being forced into a marriage which she is still beaten and controlled. Men from Chicano community are seen to care less about the rights and welfare of women, where most of them indulge in practices of injustices such as beating up their wives.

Basing our argument from statements in the novel, the author says; “other instances of male violence in the collection-Rafaela’s imprisonment, sally’s beatings, and the details of Minerva’s life”, confirms that there was a constant behavior of partners abusing one another in a relationship, and that people of Chicano had gotten much comfortable with the fact the women were subjects of men (Doyle, 7). Sally was repeatedly beaten up by her father, and then later got herself into a marriage which she still got abused and nothing was done against the act. Playing along with such suffering meant that Sally was certain that no action could be done against such acts, and that people in the community had generalized the idea whereby such acts looked normal to them. Such incidences confirm that people of Chicano were against the rights of women, and that men used their own power to make sure that women did what they felt like forcing them to do.

It is unfortunate that no one could speak for innocent people like Sally, as the parents, leaders, role models and the women themselves had gotten comfortable with the fact the traditions were meant to be kept no matter what effect they cause to the society (Bloom, 35). Lastly, the novel clearly shows how most of the communities in the world are reluctant in upholding the rights of women in the society, and instead the people in charge of ensuring that such rights are taken seriously are now in the frontline in oppressing women. In this paper, several evidences showing how female role models failed in fighting for their fellow females are explained, where the author uses the example of Esperanza to show how some women get lucky in growing up in a community where no justice is done for women of her age. Sally is also used as an example in the novel to show how women are abused silently in our societies. It is time for women to stand and speak for their rights to avoid such brutality by the other gender.Works Cited

Bloom, Harold, ed. Sandra Cisneros’s The House on Mango Street. Infobase Publishing, 2010: 34-56

Cisneros, Sandra. The House on Mango Street. 1984: 1-103

Doyle, Jacqueline. “More Room of Her Own: Sandra Cisneros’s The House on Mango Street.” Melus. 1994: 5-35.