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The Characterization of Esperanza’s Identity

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Authors use the literary element of characterization to emphasize the perfections and flaws of human society. In his novel The House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros creates colorful and dynamic characters that add great depth to his story. Of the major characters, Esperanza, greatly demonstrates the characteristic of observative and independence in the story. Throughout the story, Esperanza goes on a journey to find her true self and grows into adulthood.

In the story The House on Mango Street, Esperanza shows that she is observative. She starts to think about the different types of feet in her family. Then her, Rachel, and Lucy getting a pair of high heels. This led to her discovering a deeper meaning in different types of shoes and how they express the theme gender and sexuality when she is harassed by Mr. Benny for wearing the high heels. The book writes, “Them are dangerous, he says. You girls too young to be wearing shoes like that. Take them shoes off before I call the cops, but we just run.” (Cisneros 41). In this quotation, Esperanza is harassed for her shoes which causes her to understand the importance of the shoes she wears. She was very observative in this situation because she dissected what happened and the reasoning for it, which is how she gained this understanding. Her understanding of shoes is proven later in the story at her cousin’s baptism, where she wears a unflattering pair of brown shoes. She is self-conscious about them and feels ashamed, showing that she has gained a new perspective on shoes through her in depth observation of the previous harassment she experienced. Esperanza is an observative character because she looks into situations which is proven by changes in her after she experiences something.

Another characteristic that Esperanza demonstrates is independence. She shows that she is independent by accepting change, maturing throughout the story, and thinking of things in a mature way. This shows when she mentions that she wants a house of her own one day. The author writes, “One day I’ll own my own house, but I won’t forget who I am or where I came from. Passing bums will ask, Can I come in? I’ll offer them the attic, ask them to stay, because I know how it is to be without a house.” (Cisneros 87). In this quotation, Esperanza displays independence by thinking about her future and having a mature perspective on things. Her wanting to offer people without homes her attic because she understands how is to be without a home shows she is thoughtful and understanding, which comes with being mature. Esperanza also thinks reasonably about things as she creates a goal of wanting a house of her own but not forgetting where she came from, showing that she knows she wants to stay true to herself. 

In The House on Mango Street, Esperanza is an independent character which is proven through her high level of maturity and how she thinks about her future.

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The Characterization Of Esperanza’s Identity. (2022, April 29). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 17, 2022, from
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