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“On Tuesdays Rafaela’s husband comes home late because that’s the night he plays dominoes. And then Rafaela, who is still young but getting old from leaning on out the window so much get locked indoors because her husband is afraid Rafaela will run away because she is too beautiful to look at”
The house on mango street is a short novel by Sandra cisneros, It follows Esperanza, a young teenager in chicago in the 80’s. Instead of using traditional chapters, Cisneros writes in the form of short vignettes. The story isn’t so coherent, but there are continuing characters, symbols, and themes.
Throughout the book we see Esperanza lose her innocence and begin to see women’s place in the society she lives in, and she is very upset at how stuck they are with the situation.
Over the course of the book Esperanza loses her innocence to the situation she lives in, with a neighborhood riddled with crime and domestic abuse. Cisneros continually uses “leaning out the window” as a symbol of domestic abuse, in reference to esperanza’s grandmother.
The book ends with Esperanza deciding that she will break the cycle, and become autonomous, free from men controlling her life. She constantly longs for freedom, but only vows to do something about in the very end of the book.
“One day I will pack my bags of books and paper. One day I will say goodbye to Mango. I am too strong for her to keep me forever. One day I will go away”
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