Esperanza's Self-Realization in 'The House on Mango Street'

The novel the House on Mango Street tells the story of a young Hispanic girl named Esperanza. As Esperanza matures throughout the novel she discovers several truths about herself. When her family finally earns enough money to move into their own home Esperanza learns to derive new meaning in her life and adjust to the grueling challenges that her life presents she draws nearer to self actualization. Moreover, as Esperanza develops physically and mentally she concedes in her newfound sexual awareness and the freedom that it allows.

For any young person undergoing puberty this is both exhilarating and scary at the same time. It is during this time that Esperanza enters an internal conflict with herself as she is taken advantage of and sexually assaulted.  Western culture, especially that which is practiced in the United States, was once being marketed as the land where immigrants could make a respectable living for themselves as long as they were willing to contribute their end of the bargain in terms of labor.

This sometimes meant dealing with disdain and unjust behavior on the behalf of Americans that weren’t as welcoming to a group of “foreigners” that were taking their jobs and gaining the upper hand over them, Plainly put Latin Americans were willing to do the gruesome jobs that no one else wantedt.  Additionally, Latin American culture is deeply rooted in a paternalistic society that promotes submitting to the needs of male figures and always living as the subordinate. While Latin American men may have not been able to exercise their masculinity through the form of control over everyone around them they did, however, have all the power they desired in their homes as the females were raised to submit to them.

Get quality help now

Proficient in: Culture

4.7 (657)

“ Really polite, and a great writer! Task done as described and better, responded to all my questions promptly too! ”

+84 relevant experts are online
Hire writer

Esperanza however lived in a home that was sort of unconventional in the sense that she maintained a close relationship with both of her parents, her family specifically. With that in mind it is notable to mention that it is not characteristic of any female to share their feelings openly and demand the respect that every human being is entitled to Despite the closeness of their bond there were some things that Esperanza could not muster up the courage to speak on openly, she instead found writing to be the outlet that allowed her the freedom to speak without restrictions.  In conclusion this novel not only magnifies some of the struggles that Hispanic Americans face but it also allows people from a broader scope of age ranges to identify with a young person.

Cite this page

Esperanza's Self-Realization in 'The House on Mango Street'. (2023, Jan 08). Retrieved from

Let’s chat?  We're online 24/7