The House On Mango Street
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  • 1. THE HOUSE ON MANGO STREET Part One – Overview and Outside Analysis
  • 2. THE HOUSE ON MANGO STREET Having known nothing at all about The House On Mango Street when I signed up for this presentation my motivation was based solely on the desire to have a piece of text I could call my own – write on the delicate pages and let my own thoughts flow with the text. Now that the book is of ficially in my hands, I can say I am not disappointed. With each vignette I feel as if I am trying to solve a crossword puzzle. Within each piece of imagery is an elusion to the larger theme, but only once all the pieces are assembled together do we see the broader picture. Here, then, are some more pieces of information to add to your understanding of the magnificent picture that is: The House on Mango Street Warning: While I am aware that Power Points are suppose to aid presentations and therefor not contain large amounts of text, I am not able to make this presentation during class. As a result, there will be a bit more text than usually expected from a Power Point.
  • 3. OVERVIEW  Originally published in 1984  Won the Before Columbus Foundation’s American Book Award in 1985  The House on Mango Street has sold over 2 million copies  Genre said to be a Coming Of Age Story
  • 4. BEFORE COLUMBUS FOUNDATION ―The Before Columbus Foundati on was founded in 1976 as a nonprofit educational and ser vice organization dedicated to the promoti on and dissemination of contemporar y American multicultural literature. The goals of BCF are to provide recogniti on and a wider audience for the wealth of cultural and ethnic diver sity that constitutes American writing. BCF has always employed the term ―multicultural‖ not as a description of an aspect of American literature, but as a definition of all American literature. BCF believes that the ingredients of America's so -called ―melting pot‖ are not only distinct, but integral to the unique constitution of American Culture -the whole comprises the par ts,‖ (Before Columbus Foundation Website) Ishmael Reed (founder of BCF) suggested that there be an American Book Awards to challenge the lack of diversity in The Pulitzer Prizes and The National Book Awards
  • 5. STRONG ETHNIC THEMES With such strong cultural and ethnic themes throughout, it is no surprise that Sandra Cisneros would receive both strong praise and equally strong criticism for The House On Mango Street…
  • 6. PRAISE You don’t have to look far for praise for The House On Mango Street, the first page is bursting with kind words! ―The House On Mango Street is a book that will be cherished for generations. With its tenderness, its humor, its wide-eyed truth telling, Esperanza’s story becomes our story, whether we’re Latinas or not.‖ –Cristina Garcia But Cisneros also catches the eye of some more well known publications: "Cisneros draws on her rich [Latino] heritage...and seduces with precise, spare prose, creat[ing] unforgettable characters we want to lift of f the page. She is not only a gifted writer, but an absolutely essential one." —Bebe Moore Campbell, The New York Times Book Review
  • 7. CRITICISM While doing my research I found this elusion to criticism based on Cisneros ethnic themes: ―Some male Mexican- American critics have attacked the novel, arguing that by writing about a character whose goal is to leave the barrio (a neighborhood or community where most of the residents are of Spanish -speaking origin), Cisneros has betrayed the barrio, which they see as an important part of Mexican tradition. Others have criticized the novel as encouraging assimilation, labeling Cisneros a vendida, or sellout. Such critics have condemned Cisneros for perpetuating what they see as negative stereotypes of Mexican - American men (the wife beaters, the overbearing husbands), while at the same time contending that the feminism Cisneros embraces was created by white women.‖ However, this information was attained from SparkNotes and I have not been able to find any direct quotati ons of these critiques referred to.
  • 8. INTERESTING ANALYSIS Authors look at the different possible symbolisms in The House On Mango Street For your reading pleasure, and who knows, the following interpretations could spark inspiration for Monday’s Canvas class Forum…
  • 9. ―THERE AIN’T THIRT Y DIFFERENT KINDS OF SNOW… THERE ARE TWO KINDS‖  An analysis of the imagery of snow  By Leslis Petty At first glance, the girls' conver sation appear s to be a bit of childish nonsense, and, on a sur face level, it is. Read in a broader context, however, Nenny and Lucy's debate highlights a conflict that is at the hear t of Cisneros's work: the insistence on culturally defining the world by a rigid set of black/white, good/bad, clean/dir ty dualities, ver sus the reality of individuality, uniqueness, and infinite dif ferentiation. Cisneros comments on the dif ficulties inherent in this clear-cut dichotomy, and she relates this binar y specifically to the Mexican influences in her life and writing… According to Cisneros, then, females, like the snow, are not seen in Latino culture as unique individuals but are labeled as either "good" women or "bad" women, as "clean" or "dir ty," as "virgins" or "malinches."
  • 10. HIGH HEELS MUST HAVE BEEN A MAN'S IDEA -"THEIR ASSES WILL LOOK GOOD AND THEY'LL BE CRIPPLED!"-RICK OVERTON  An analysis of the imagery of the high heel shoes  By Michelle Scalise Sugiyama Why does Cinderella's fate hinge upon a shoe, of all things? Surely it is no accident that the foot (as opposed to some other body par t) features so prominently in the tale… The shoe motif enables the reader to see that the power struggle taking place in the world of Mango Street is intrasexual as well as inter sexual. The attempts of the men in the stor y to control female sexuality can be divided into two categories: (1) those that seek to blockade female sexuality, and (2) those that seek to bombard it.
  • 11. ―BOOKS CONTINUE EACH OTHER, IN SPITE OF OUR HABIT OF JUDGING THEM SEPARATELY‖ – VIRGINIA WOOLF  Comparing The House On Mango Street to ―A Room Of One’s Own‖ by Virginia Woolf  By Jaqueline Doyle The dilapidated series of apar tments and houses Esperanza inhabits with her mother, father, sister, and two brother s --par ticularly their dwelling on Mango Street --represents her pover ty, but also the richness of her subject matter. "Like it or not you are Mango Street," her friend Alicia tells her, "and one day you'll come back too" (107). "You must remember to come back ," the three aged sisters tell her, "for the ones who cannot leave as easily as you" (105). A Room of One's Own would seem to allow Esperanza this subject, even to encourage it. "All these infinitely obscure lives remain to be recorded," as Woolf told her young female audience. Pondering the shopgirl behind the counter, she commented, "I would as soon have her true histor y as the hundred and fif tieth life of Napoleon"
  • 12. WORKS CITED  Anonymous. "About Sandra Cisneros." About Sandra Cisneros . N.p., 25 Sept. 201 2. Web. 28 Oct. 2013. <http://www.sandracisneros.com/bio.php>.  "Before Columbus Foundation." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 10 Oct. 2013. Web. 28 Oct. 2013. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Before_Columbus_Foundation >  Wajahat, Ali. "Before Columbus Foundation." Before Columbus Foundation. Before Columbus Foundation, n.d. Web. 28 Oct. 2013. <http://www.beforecolumbusfoundation.com/about -bcf.html>.  Petty, Leslis. "The "Dual"-Ing Images of La Malinche and La Virgen De Guadalupe in Cisneros's the House on Mango Street." MELUS 25.2 (2000): 119 -32. ProQuest . 28 Oct. 2013 .  Michelle, Scalise Sugiyama. "Of Woman Bondage: The Eroticism of Feet in the House on Mango Street." The Midwest Quar terly 41 .1 (1999): 9 20. ProQuest . 28 Oct. 2013 .  Doyle, Jacqueline. "More Room of Her Own: Sandra Cisneros's the House on Mango Street." MELUS 19.4 (1994): 5. ProQuest. 28 Oct. 2013 .  http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780679734772