The interconnection between individuals, society and local communities is a network that defines life and choices people make.
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Every situation is individual and people and their actions are framed by the conditions and circumstances of their personal lives, as well as those of people in the close circle.
“The House on Mango Street” by Sandra Cisneros describes the life of a child who goes through hardships of being poor, having personal dilemmas and understanding the surrounding world. It focuses on the great influence of community on an individual and vice verse.
From the very beginning, the reader is familiarized with the previous life and hardships of a character whose name is Esperanza. At twelve year old, girl talks about the constant moving that goes back far in the past, so that she does not even remember all the places of residence.
The start familiarizes the audience that both family and the little girl have grave financial problems, as well as problems with the community they reside in (Cisneros 4).
The close relationship between individual people and families is established within the community and it becomes one of the reasons people feel unable to continue living in the area.
In case of the family Esperanza describes, the financial resources do not allow them to move into a nice neighborhood or a house and thus, they are forced to find living quarters in communities that have detrimental life conditions and people are not very kind to each other.
As parents want best for their children, the reason for Esperanza’s family to move out in a search of a better place becomes obvious.
Another theme mentioned in the book is the relationship between people’s background, race and how the outside majority community views others. Hispanic population has often felt pressure and unequal treatment form the American population.
The United States communities felt that people with Hispanic background influenced the economy and the state of affairs of workforce and general market demands.
Esperanza describes whole communities of people that affect the way minorities feel about themselves and such conditions have a negative result on individual securities and happiness of people.
It is especially noticeable, having in mind the insecurities that a little girl already has because of her family’s financial condition. Racial alienation and segregation from the rest of community has a lot of pressure on Esperanza.
While grouping up, a young mind is very sensitive when the whole nation of people presses on the psyche of minorities and makes individuals feel unwanted.
An interesting connection takes place between the way Esperanza feels about herself and the surrounding women. She observes how women are treated and experiences the community by herself. She starts noticing boys and begins to feel a want to have their attention.
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Esperanza is surrounded by girls who have had relations and this becomes a whole new world for her. This is the time when she looks deep inside herself to find out that she has matured.
It has been known that girls become developed earlier than boy and this is another issue that Esperanza has to understand and deal with.
Everything changes when she gets abused and she learns that reality can be extremely harsh sometimes. This has a direct connection to the way women are treated in her community.
One of the biggest examples is Rafaela and the way she gets treated by her husband. As she is not allowed to go out because she is beautiful, she is forced to be confined in her house (Cisneros 82).
This is representative of the society and how men have been dominating women for such a long time.
Esperanza understands her pain, just as other women’s. When she talks about Mamacita and her want to go back home, it is heartbreaking to the reader that she was unable to adapt to new conditions.
She becomes homesick and despises the new world and the English language. The fact that her child learns to speak American has a great effect on her self esteem and she becomes even more saddened (Cisneros 78).
Esperanza can feel the pain of all women in her community and she learns a lot by observing the social make-up and how women are treated.
The author draws a unique line between individuality, community and person’s independence. One of the signs is the way Esperanza talks about trees on Mango Street and how she admires them. This points to a theme of people feeling trapped and lonely, so far as to identify with trees.
The community that surrounds individuals becomes a heavy burden and a vicious cycle that does not allow anyone to escape. When Esperanza’s family moves to a house, she is still very much unpleased with the ways things are turning out.
Her dreams were filled with a beautiful house that has a garden, green grass and all the pretty images form themselves into the only goal Esperanza can think off. Her focus is to escape the life of poverty and buy the house of her dreams.
The home that the girl sees in her mind is an escape from the harsh reality of the world she lives in. It is representative of a sense of belonging and a corner where she can escape to.
All the major themes of the book unite into one that describes the external pressures on a young mind. Esperanza is an example of a person who notices everything around her but is unable to change things.
She becomes trapped by the community, the views of the society and personal understanding. As she spent her whole young life in moving and searching for a better place to live, she cannot compare any other way of life to her own.
All she has left is to imagine a beautiful house that is her only path out of the world she does not want to be a part of. Racial separation, poverty, social role of women and her personal determination to change the circumstances become a force that keeps reminding of itself.
Esperanza is unable to get used to such cruelties that people suscept each other to and she wants to get far away.
The book very precisely illustrates the lives of people who suffer all around. The majority of the population does not notice that a lot of families have to struggle to make ends meet and feed their children.
The governments are mostly helpless in changing the social order that has been established for a long time. In the modern world, conditions have become better for those less fortunate but nonetheless, it is far from perfect, so books like this are very valuable and needed.
Cisneros, Sandra. The House on Mango Street. London, Great Britain: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2004. Print.