The House on Mango Street Essay – Many Possibilities
The House on Mango Street Essay
At first reading, The House on Mango Street does not seem to be much more that a “coming of age” book, so many of which have been written. A young Latino pre-teen is struggling to find her identity within her family and community in a poor Latino neighborhood in Chicago. In her struggles she vacillates between friendships with the much less mature girls across the street and with Sally, who is growing up much too fast and introduces Esperanza to a wilder side – a side Esperanza rather enjoys until she is sexually assaulted. In the end, Esperanza has matured significantly, realizing that her “ticket” out of Mango Street will indeed lie within herself, but that she will be always tied to this community through her desire to help the other women within it. While certainly this is a coming-of-age work, it is also a commentary on many social and economic issues, as well as an interesting study in interpersonal relationships of all types. Potential The House on Mango Street essay topics, therefore, are many.
Writing a House on Mango Street Essay
If you are looking for topics for your essay, here are some suggestions that might interest you, or at least trigger some thought for one that you would want to write:
- Elenita tells Esperanza that she will ultimately leave Mango Street but that, even though that will not be right now, she will have a “house in her heart.” What is meant by this?
- Discuss the varied parent-child relationships in this work. Why does Esperanza so wish to avoid her parents and her household?
- How are race and/or gender conflicts treated in this novel?
- How are sex and violence treated in this novel?
- Write a problem solution essay related to how Esperanza ultimately solves her problem of wanting to get out of Mango Street and yet not having the wherewithal to do it.
- Discuss one of the House on Mango Street themes - the idea that language is power, the struggle for self-identity, or achieving autonomy
- Even though Esperanza is still on Mango Street at the end of the work, why is there a sense of optimism?
If you are looking for symbolism in the novel as a potential essay topic, here are some possibilities:
- Write on The House on Mango Street Essay thesis that shoes represent Esperanza constant vacillation between childhood and adulthood.
- Look at the many references to falling, both literal when people actually do fall, and the many times that characters talk of fear of falling. What symbolism do you see here?
- Trees are also described many times, especially the difference between the small ones in Esperanza’s front yard and the much larger, sturdier one in the neighbor’s back yard. What do these trees symbolize?
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