Sandra Cisneros Novel The House on Mango Street: Challenges Faced by Machismo

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About this sample


Words: 1344 |

Pages: 3|

7 min read

Published: Mar 14, 2019

Words: 1344|Pages: 3|7 min read

Published: Mar 14, 2019

Machismo is the belief that some men have about men being superior than women. This was very common between the 60's and 70's in Mexico, and for Mexicans living in certain parts of the United States. In the novel called "House of Mango Street" a girl named Esperanza experiences the hardships of machismo and the abuse that comes with it. "House of Mango Street" is a novel that was written by Sandra Cisneros a Mexican writer. She in this novel has implied various themes one of the major ones is machismo. It talks about a girl named Esperanza and how as she is growing up is limited to do things and suffers because of machismo. Esperanza, the protagonist, is a girl that is poor but not so poor. She and her family have moved from apartment to apartment. Until she moved into a house, the house on Mango Street. There is were she started to have machismo affect her way of life. Machismo is the belief of some men that they are superior to women. This causes the men to over-react and abuse women in a variety of ways causing the abused women to get hurt, sometimes physically, other times mentally and others emotionally, their feelings get shattered and their minds corrupted.

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One type of abuse done to women because of machismo is physical abuse. Physical abuse can be done by hitting the other person or even rape or sexual abuse in this case done to a woman. To begin with an example, there is a girl in the book named Sally. Her father is overprotective so when he sees her with boys he beats her up. That is because he thinks he can do that to her because he is his father and he has the right to do it. This is because of machismo. Proof that of this is when Sally in a vignette says "he doesn't hit me hard, " she uses that as an excuse to accept the beatings of his father and she was so accustomed to the beatings that it didn't hurt her so much now. This shows that she has an abusive father and that he is physically abusing his daughter, he thinks that will stop her from meeting with boys. This is because he uses machismo as a way of life and he implies it on his daughter because his sisters made a mistake in life and he doesn't want sally to make the same mistake. Another example of physical abuse was Esperanza. Furthermore she was raped, sexually abused, in other words experienced a harsh physical abuse; she said "... you lied to me Sally this wasn't as you told me it would be...," meaning she was accusing sally for what had happened. This shows that she was told by Sally that having sex was very good and that it was nice to have it; it also showed how she felt that Sally had the fault because of making her wait for to long for her and that's why she (Esperanza ), got raped. This is because being raped and having sex is totally different because rape is forced to, do and sex is willing so its obvious that it wasn't quite as Sally told her it would be. However even if the two abuses were of different nature and kind both of them fall in the same category, in the physical abuse one.

Also machismo can cause men to do emotional abuse to women. Emotional abuse is when someone plays and messes up with another person's feelings and emotions. In this case is the women who are being abused like that because of machismo. Still the fact that Esperanza was raped represents yet another type of abuse, emotional. She said "...the red clown is watching..."which meant she felt ashamed of herself because she sensed that she was being watched. This shows that she was concerned about her surroundings and remembered them as she was being raped. This is because as she was being raped her feelings got mixed up and she as not knowing what to do in that type of situation she started to look at her surroundings and making mental notes about them as her feelings got worse that worsened. As a result she got as well emotionally abused when she got raped in the carnival. Furthermore Minerva, a woman living near Esperanza's house, she is already married but his husband comes and goes because when she gets tired of him she sends him out and when he comes she forgives him again; she tells to Esperanza "What can I do." This shows that Minerva is being emotionally abused because his husband is playing with her emotionally and she is getting crazy about it, This is because the simple facts that she keeps letting him in again, that shows that she really loves him but that she keeps repeating the same thing over and over again. Therefore they both have been mentally abused and it is always because of the same thing, machismo.

Another type of abuse caused by machismo is mental abuse. Mental abuse is when you verbally abuse a person so much that the person abused may even come to think that he/she is what you are telling him/her is, also its when you psychological abuse a person. Also in machismo this is done to women. Eventually Minerva is not only emotionally but also mentally abused because she always fights her husband and always let him come back and that makes her mind go crazy. Furthermore she tells Esperanza "he always comes back..." and Esperanza doesn't answer because it's obvious what she has to do and what has she been doing. This shows that she is so mentally abused that she doesn't know what she is really doing and what she really should do. This is because she really loves him and that affects her way of thinking as everyone does when he/she is really in love. Because of this Minerva is being teared apart by mental and emotional abuse. There's a girl in Mango Street that's called Alicia, she sometimes talks to Esperanza and tell her "I have to study, and take 2 buses and one train to get to college and I see mousses everywhere..." This shows that she is being mentally abused to make her study like that and to see mice everywhere. This is because she hallucinates the mice because her brain is already crazy because of too much mental abuse. Since she is already crazy about seeing mice everywhere his father doesn't care anymore and stills abuse worse her mental stae to make her study and do tortillas in the morning.

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Machismo is the belief of some men that they are superior to women. This causes the men to over-react and abuse women in a variety of ways causing the abused women to get hurt, sometimes physically, other times mentally and others emotionally, their feelings get shattered and their minds corrupted. To begin with machismo is shown throughout the whole story. The physical abuse is when you hits another person, rape another or in other words to physical damage unto another person. So physical abuse was done unto Sally by his father who beaten her up and to Esperanza by the rapist at the carnival. Emotional abuser is when you play with other people's feelings or emotions. In Minerva's case she was abused emotionally by her husband and Esperanza by her rape experience had an emotional impact on her. Mental abuse is when you play with the mind of other people. Last, Minerva was mentally abused by the coming and going of her husband and Alicia because of her mentally abusing father and already hallucinates mice. Machismo is a horrible thing. It makes women suffer like hell and it doesn't let them have too many opportunities or freedom. A world without machismo would make the earth go faster (progress faster) because women have a great intelligence and potential that shouldn't be wasted.

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Sandra Cisneros Novel The House On Mango Street: Challenges Faced By Machismo. (2019, March 12). GradesFixer. Retrieved April 13, 2024, from
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