Societal Shackles In The House On Mango Street By Sandra Cisneros

1891 Words 8 Pages
Societal Shackles Within today’s society, the oppressive forces of societal norms seem to constrict many lesser privileged members of the population. More and more frequently, there are outcries for a revision of the current way of life; movements such as feminism exemplify these reforms. So many people nowadays, and all throughout history, feel trapped by society due to prejudices held against them or due to their socio-economic standing. In literature, when one believes one is trapped, it often reveals a divide wherein one is trapped either figuratively or literally. In The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros, the struggles of a young girl in a poor urban neighborhood are detailed as she attempts to come to terms with her family’s …show more content…
In the scope of the time period of this story, this pertains to women. The story begins with a woman, deemed mentally ill, brought to a vacation home by her husband, a physician, with the intent of a cure by mental relaxation. As the story progresses, the woman experiences increasing psychological perturbations, until finally undergoing a descent into insanity caused by her obsession with the yellow wallpaper which she is forced to endure for weeks on end. Day by day she perceives more within the wallpaper, beginning with just a woman, though this view eventually expands into the realization that the wallpaper depicts a woman trapped behind bars formed by the yellow patterns, such as when the narrator says, “At night in any kind of light, in twilight, candlelight, lamplight, and worst of all by moonlight, it becomes bars! The outside pattern I mean, and the woman behind it is as plain as can be” (Gilman 7). Until the narrator later relates herself with the woman trapped in the wallpaper, readers are left to wonder what the narrator is trying to convey. At this point, it becomes obvious to the reader that the yellow wallpaper represents the narrator herself, emphasizing her lack of freedom. As she continues to believe her husband wants what is best for her, readers can assume that the narrator’s conscious is less aware of her imprisonment than her subconscious mind, thus clearly displaying the junction between the story’s theme of gender inequality and restraint. Therefore, the reader can readily assume the narrator is displaying her desire to escape a continuous pattern in an artistic and mysterious way. As the narrator argues that women as an identity, rather than a whole gender, are confined to hiding among their husband’s shadows, she attempts to reach out to readers

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