Equality In The House On Mango Street By Sandra Cisneros

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Equality is something that is perpetually strived for, but seldom achieved. In the novella The House On Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros, the protagonist, Esperanza, does not want to continue the cycle of inequality. Throughout the story, Esperanza continually sees women in her life treated like objects in a society that values women for their looks, and not for what is on the inside. In the thread of gender roles, a theme that is developed is that men do not treat women as their equals, but instead as something that can be possessed and dominated. This theme is developed throughout the stories Esperanza tells about her great-grandmother’s resentment of being a married woman, Rafaela’s lack of freedom in her marriage, and the troubles Minerva …show more content…
Rafaela is a woman who is also a part of the Mango Street community, but has a horrible life because of her possessive husband. Esperanza says, “And then Rafaela, who is still young but getting old from leaning out the window so much, gets locked indoors because her husband is afraid Rafaela will run away since she is too beautiful to look at. Rafaela leans out the window and leans on her elbow and dreams her hair is like Rapunzel’s” (Cisneros 72). Rafaela traded in her freedom for a husband. She is now a prisoner in her own home while her husband goes in and out as he pleases. She is locked away from everyone because her husband does not want to lose his ‘prized possession’. Rafaela compares herself to Rapunzel in this chapter. This is because her circumstance is very similar to that of Rapunzel’s; both women are locked away by a man who exerts power over them, and are hopelessly waiting to get rescued. Instead of leaving, Rafaela leans out the window and listens to the music from the bar down the street, wishing she could go there to dance before she gets old. Through Rafaela’s experience with her marriage, Esperanza learns that she does not want to get married to a husband that controls …show more content…
It is developed through stories that Esperanza tells about many women in her Mango Street community. These stories include those of Minerva, who has an abusive husband; Rafaela, whose husband locks her away in her home and Esperanza’s great-grandmother who was reluctantly married and lived a life of despair. For Esperanza, defying gender roles and remaining independent is an act of nonconformity, and a source of

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