This paper addresses the various feminine themes and stereotypes presented by Cisneros, as well as the constant oppression the female characters face from their male counterparts. This five page paper has four additional sources in the bibliography.
Name of Research Paper File: TG15_TGmango.rtf
Unformatted Sample Text from the Research Paper:
keep the home fires burning in their absence. Their domain is exclusively confined within the four walls of the family house, and any woman who steps beyond those historically
accepted limits brings shame and disgrace to her kin. This is the world Sandra Cisneros explored in her autobiographical novel, The House on Mango Street, first published in 1988.
It is not one story, but rather a series of vignettes with an essential thematic thread running through each one - women and young girls who are forced to
cope with the preconception of feminine stereotypes and surviving with a semblance of dignity amid the male oppression their patriarchal society refuses to relinquish. In the Hispanic universe, children are
confronted with stereotypes at a very early age. They are created by and limited by gender, and constructs an impenetrable wall between the sexes. Early in the text,
Cisneros narrator and protagonist Esperanza Cordero observes, "The boys and girls live in separate worlds. The boys in their universe and we in ours. My brothers for example.
Theyve got plenty to say to me and Nenny inside the house. But outside they cant be seen talking to girls. Carlos and Kiki are each others
best friend... not ours" (8). The boundaries generated by gender stereotypes is symbolized by references to the interiors and exteriors of the houses. The girls are relegated to
staying inside the house to perform domestic chores or baby sit, while the boys are free to socialize outside the home, with few familial demands on their time. In
her criticism of The House on Mango Street, Leslie Petty argues that the female characters are interpretations of the two stereotypes which have long defined Mexican women, la Virgen de