You are on page 1of 6



It was my father who would walk into my room and sit down on the edge of my bed. He
was not the type of man who enjoyed having those deep and emotional conversations with his
daughters. He was more of the type of man who just wanted to go with the flow. It was simple as
However, there would be those nights—the nights in which he knew I would be awake,
that he would sit on the edge of that bed for a long and silent time. He initially struggled with his
words because he did not know where to begin. When he finally found his words, he began
telling me the importance of college. I knew it was important, but in all honesty, I did not want to
go. It was one of those times in my life where I could not look back and understand what was
going through my mind. My father pressured me to attend the schools that had accepted me. He
confessed that although he loves his sisters, he did not want me to solely be a housewife. My
father knew that I loved learning, and wanted to continue my education after high school. He
wanted me to be the first one in my family to go to college, and explore the world outside my
small town in Arizona through my own eyes.
Unfortunately, the modern society continued to live in a world where gender suppression
still existed. I strongly believe that it is through my developing expert power, that will enable me
to break through the cultural and gender stereotypes I may face in my life.
Sandra Cisneros’ The House on Mango Street demonstrated one’s mental progress as they
develop their expert power in a society entangled with suppression. This developing expert
power encouraged a building knowledge to gain the liberty to escape the suppression, and
express their values of confidence and understanding through the characterization of Esperanza
and Sally.

“When you leave you must remember to come back for the others. p. The sister implied that other women did not have the blessing of obtaining the knowledge of gender stereotype. and her experience at her new house located on Mango Street in a series of vignettes. p. Esperanza “can’t erase” (Cisneros. A circle. she was much more likely to leave the suppressing elements of her Mexican culture.105) what she had believed to be true. she went to exercise her growing expert power. As Esperanza was gaining knowledge. p. The knowledge of the existence of gender and cultural suppression that Esperanza had obtained throughout the years in Mango Street could not be easily forgotten. p. understand? You will always be Esperanza. believed to be in the age range of eight to twelve. 1991. 1991. p. but the knowledge she had gained in her experiences living in Mango Street was not easy to forget. You will always be Mango Street. You can’t erase what you know. 1991.105) referred to the other women who felt imprisoned in Mango Street due to the suppressing nature of the dominating Mexican culture. never mind had an idea how to combat them. they strived to be more than what is expected of them. 1991. When Esperanza was at her friends’ Lucy’s and Rachel’s baby sister’s funeral. 1991.105).105) of information because as one woman gained knowledge. The woman then could proceed and pass down her . The women persevered to exceed. As women gained knowledge. and in the process of exceeding. One of the sisters told Esperanza that Mango Street will never leave her life.105). she was approached by three sisters.ROUGH DRAFT 2 The House on Mango Street was narrated through the perspective of Esperanza Cordero. Esperanza could live on the other side of the world. You can’t forget who you are” (Cisneros. The process is much like a “circle” (Cisneros. they broke the stereotype chains that once held them in one place by understanding the culture. Esperanza was a young Mexican girl. It was Esperanza’s duty as a knowledgeable woman to “come back for the others” (Cisneros. The “others” (Cisneros.

and then she doesn’t say” (Cisneros. As I have seen and experienced the importance of understanding of my expert power of the existence of societal suppression. women and men could join together to preserve through gender stereotypes. and the harm it may bring them. Just because I’m a daughter. but also those around me.ROUGH DRAFT 3 knowledge to the other women who were bonded in this cultural suppression. 1991. Sally’s father was heavily involved in the suppressing environment of Sally’s culture. like if I was an animal. and grow in confidence.92). Sally’s lack of expert power contributed to her misunderstanding of her principle of forgiveness. p. The father feared for the future of his daughter. to even my own children. to create those equal opportunities for the future generations. she said. 1991. He thinks I’m going to run away like his sisters who made the family ashamed. Together. p. However. Both men and women. he believed that he had to literally beat her into staying in the righteous path. I believed that my own expert power did not only benefit myself. Sally justified her father’s abuse by explaining that her father thought his own daughter would bring disgrace to the family honor. My knowledge would continue to be passed down. . and abuse she sustained from her father.92). I had become aware that not everyone has the same privilege I have. like the other women in his family. There are others that are unaware of the suppression they are experiencing. “But Sally doesn’t tell about the time he hit her with his hands just like a dog. I empowered myself to break through the barriers that my cultural had for many generations. As I continue to experience what the world has to offer. my confidence had blossomed. and did not want her to live in shame. Esperanza also spoke about her beautiful friend Sally. Her father restricted her value as a person when he would beat her like “like a dog” (Cisneros.

101). but because she was a female. p. but I think she did it as an escape” (Cisneros. Sally felt the need to “escape” (Cisneros. Sally degraded her value as a human being. Esperanza explained how her friend Sally fled Mango Street. She met marshmallow salesman at a school bazaar. p. and she married him in another state where it’s legal to get married before eighth grade. p. Sally married at a young age. Sally did not justify that the reason why she was beaten was because she was her father’s shameful sisters. 1991. Sally was entangled in a world where her the misogynist nature of her culture hindered her mindset and confidence. but as a way to escape Mango Street. Sally did not have the knowledge that as a human being. The lack of Sally’s expert power on how to leave Mango Street contributed to her understanding that in order to escape the suppressing nature of her culture. and her potential expert power that benefited her by giving her the knowledge that there was a way to escape Mango Street. She has her husband. . and was mentally-frozen in a bottom part of the social hierarchy. 1991. “Sally got married like we knew she would. p.ROUGH DRAFT 4 The forgiveness Sally evoked for her father’s actions was evident as Sally further defended her father’s abuse by saying “I’m a daughter” (Cisneros. she had to marry her way out of Mango Street.92). She says she’s in love. Esperanza believed that Sally did not get married out of love. 1991. she deserved the same amount of respect as she would have had if she were to be someone’s son. 1991. and her house now her pillowcases and her plates. young and not ready but married just the same. 101) from the society she was living in. She was “a daughter” (Cisneros. Sally did not have the adequate knowledge to understand a healthier way of removing herself from society that she believed have too many restrictions on her. and everything it entailed.92).

In contrast. a growing expert power of how to fully untangle myself can express the confidence and understanding of myself and my situation. 101). p. 1991. 1991. When Sally meant run away from Mango Street. Esperanza implied that there were more people than herself that expected Sally to get married “young and not ready but married just the same” (Cisneros. and used them as a tool to preserve through her developing expert power on how to escape Mango Street. she had set herself a trap in making a new Mango Street for herself. The choices somebody makes has effects on not only the people surrounding them. as well as the life as others. Esperanza looked at both spectrums of gender-stereotypes. Sally strived to leave Mango Street by marrying a “marshmallow salesman” (Cisneros. I continue to educate myself through experiences I am having on my own. 101) because that was what she knew she can do to escape as a woman. Sally’s limited expert knowledge strayed her away from the path of a healthy escape from Mango Street. due to her absence of the confidence. but also the person themselves. that could make a difference in my life. the silent actions that screams one’s values and principles. p. where there are expectations that unfairly restrict me to one place. It is the actions. and her house now her pillowcases and her plates” (Cisneros. I am power.ROUGH DRAFT 5 Sally persevered through the marriage as she believed she “has her husband. Sally lacked the healthy expert power she needed and understands the way to escape Mango Street in a different manner that eventually leads to her building another Mango Street for herself. and start anew without the restrictions set by her father. p. As I strive to untangle myself. 1991. Knowledge is power. and limited understanding of other ways to leave her home at Mango Street. . 101).

. New York. (1991). The House on Mango Street. S. NY: Vintage Books.ROUGH DRAFT 6 Reference Page. Cisneros.