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The House on Mango Street
1. You will understand and
recognize creative
writing devices like
economy, precision,
concreten...
The House on Mango Street
Essential Questions
1. What role does our
family, culture, and
community play in
shaping us?
1. ...
About Sandra Cisneros
• Born: Chicago in l954
• the third child and only
daughter in a family of
seven children.
• Occupat...
Growing Up in Chicago
• Born in the Hispanic Quarter of
Chicago in 1954
• Mexican-American (Chicana)
• She was the only gi...
Becoming a Writer
• Attended Loyola University in Chicago
as an English major
• Decided to become a writer
• Attended the ...
Books by Sandra Cisneros
• Bad Boys, Mango Press: San Jose, California, 1980
• The House on Mango Street , (Arte Publico P...
Sandra Cisneros’ Inspiration & Story
• “I am the sum of all
stories that pass
through me.” And so
are you.
• What do you k...
What is a Vignette?
• A short, well written sketch or descriptive scene.
• It does not have a plot which would make it a s...
Genre: Is this a novel?
• Well, maybe it is a novella.
• It is hard to categorize Cisneros’ work and just
because we canno...
Read and Respond
“The House on Mango
Street” (3-5) “My Name” (10-11)
The House on Mango Street: Narrator
• The work is narrated by Esperanza Cordero,
thirteen, a Chicana girl in Chicago.
• Al...
The House on Mango Street:
Setting
• Mango Street symbolizes both Esperanza’s ball and chain and her
inspiration.
• In the...
The House on Mango Street Themes
1. Individual identity
and communal
loyalty
2. Estrangement and
loss
3. Escape and return...
Mango’s Appeal
• It speaks especially to
Latino Americans, but
it captures universal
pangs (of growing up
and finding ones...
Otherness
• Mango suggests from
where that otherness
comes and shows how
it can become a cause
for celebration rather
than...
A Deceptive Work
1. Language seems simple but it possesses the
richness of poetry.
2. Slang and breaks from grammatical co...
A common misconception…
with The House on Mango Street is that it is
concise and readable, so therefore it must be
unlite...
The House on Mango Street: Characters
• Alicia, the medical student who is still bound to her old fears.
• Marin, who wait...
The House on Mango Street: Significance
• This is Cisneros’s first novel.
• It is a way to relate her cultural
identity to...
Life Lesson According to Cisneros
1. The world does not love you
the way you are loved at
home.
2. Pain gives you a specia...
Progression of House on Mango Street
Vignettes
Begins with self & family
(comfort), moves to friends
(Nenny, unknowingly h...
The House on Mango Street: Structure
• The novel is told as a series of
vignettes, 1-4 pages each
• There is no real chron...
Structure of Vignettes
• 1-39…Introduces narrator and
establishes setting
• 43-70…Esperanza describes the
world beyond Man...
The Power of Poetic Devices
Showing versus Telling
• Telling: It was foggy.
• Showing:
The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes
The yel...
Telling & Abstracting Vs.
Showing & Concreteness
In “Chanclas” Cisneros paints
the picture. We deduce that
Esperanza is
__...
Unreliable Narrator
• A narrator whose account
of events appears to be
faulty, misleadingly biased,
or distorted, so that ...
Purple Prose—Laying It on Too Thick
writing that's just too flowery, too
melodramatic, too over the top
‐ in short, too ov...
Mango Reflection
• Identify one vignette
from The House on
Mango Street that
affected you in some
way. Explain
• “This isn...
Further Research
• For more biographical information:
http://www.english.uiuc.edu/maps/poets/a_f/cisneros/bio.htm
• For mo...
Work Cited:
• Modified this original Power Point from:
– The House on Mango Street.ppt
– Sandra Cisneros.ppt
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The House on Mango Street

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The House on Mango Street

  1. 1. The House on Mango Street 1. You will understand and recognize creative writing devices like economy, precision, concreteness, simile, metaphor, imagery, and dialogue. 2. You will then use Mango as a springboard to create your own thesis for one central theme for the exam
  2. 2. The House on Mango Street Essential Questions 1. What role does our family, culture, and community play in shaping us? 1. How can reading one woman’s story of self- acceptance and purpose help us find our own while telling it in an honest, authentic voice? 1. How can a writer use creative writing techniques to express point of view and voice?
  3. 3. About Sandra Cisneros • Born: Chicago in l954 • the third child and only daughter in a family of seven children. • Occupations: teacher and counselor to high-school dropouts, taught creative writing at every level except first grade and pre- school, a college recruiter, an arts administrator, and as a visiting writer
  4. 4. Growing Up in Chicago • Born in the Hispanic Quarter of Chicago in 1954 • Mexican-American (Chicana) • She was the only girl in a family of seven, and grew up in poverty • Her parents emphasized education • Her family moved often; she was shy and introverted, but connected with her community privately through writing • http://www.galegroup.com/free_resources/chh • http://www.sandracisneros.com/html/about/bi
  5. 5. Becoming a Writer • Attended Loyola University in Chicago as an English major • Decided to become a writer • Attended the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, a graduate school for young writers • Was afraid her unprivileged background would put her at a disadvantage in the literary world • However, her heritage gave her the unique voice that shaped her career • http://www.galegroup.com/free_resources/chh/bio/cisneros_s.htm • http://www.sandracisneros.com/html/about/bio.html
  6. 6. Books by Sandra Cisneros • Bad Boys, Mango Press: San Jose, California, 1980 • The House on Mango Street , (Arte Publico Press: Houston, Texas, l984), Vintage: New York, 1991. • Woman Hollering Creek, Random House: New York, 1991 • My Wicked Wicked Ways, (Third Woman Press: Berkeley, California, l987), Random House: New York, 1992 • La Casa En Mango Street, translated by Elena Poniatowska, Vintage Español, New York, 1994. • Loose Woman, Alfred A. Knopf: New York, 1994. • Hairs/Pelitos, Alfred A. Knopf: New York, 1994. Spanish translation by Liliana Valenzuela. • Caramelo, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 2002. Spanish edition translated by Liliana Valenzuela. • Vintage Cisneros, Vintage, New York, 2004. • http://www.sandracisneros.com/html/about/publications.html
  7. 7. Sandra Cisneros’ Inspiration & Story • “I am the sum of all stories that pass through me.” And so are you. • What do you know? What can you write about that no one else can write about? • Writers block means you’re afraid to say what you really mean to say.
  8. 8. What is a Vignette? • A short, well written sketch or descriptive scene. • It does not have a plot which would make it a short story, but it does reveal something about the elements in it. • It may reveal character, mood, or tone. • It may have a theme or idea of its own that it wants to convey. • It is the description of the scene or character that is important. • By linking these vignettes, Cisneros attempts to reveal the life of a young girl, a daughter of Mexican immigrants, growing up in the inner city of the United States.
  9. 9. Genre: Is this a novel? • Well, maybe it is a novella. • It is hard to categorize Cisneros’ work and just because we cannot does not mean that the work is in any way diminished. • In fact, it may enhance its reputation in many ways. • Cisneros breaks the rules. • She writes a work of fiction and she does not follow the conventional rules of plot or form.
  10. 10. Read and Respond “The House on Mango Street” (3-5) “My Name” (10-11)
  11. 11. The House on Mango Street: Narrator • The work is narrated by Esperanza Cordero, thirteen, a Chicana girl in Chicago. • Although told in the voice of a young girl, it addresses mature subject matter. • In English, Esperanza means hope, and also, waiting. • This choice of name is significant in the novel: the character and her independence represent a way out of the slums. • As she watches her neighborhood, she decides that she will not become like the women she knows, trapped and powerless in a man’s world.
  12. 12. The House on Mango Street: Setting • Mango Street symbolizes both Esperanza’s ball and chain and her inspiration. • In the beginning of the novel, she is disappointed with the house on Mango Street. • She finds that she is not like the other residents of Mango, that she can and will find the strength to leave her life there. • She realizes that Mango is a part of her, and where she comes from is as important as where she’s going. • She knows she must come back, to help the others who are trapped there. • Cisneros’s writing is very imagistic. She makes unexpected comparisons between things to give connotations to what she describes.
  13. 13. The House on Mango Street Themes 1. Individual identity and communal loyalty 2. Estrangement and loss 3. Escape and return 4. Lure of romance and the dead end of sexual inequality & oppression
  14. 14. Mango’s Appeal • It speaks especially to Latino Americans, but it captures universal pangs (of growing up and finding oneself of) otherness—“the shame of being poor, of being female, of being not-quite-good enough.”
  15. 15. Otherness • Mango suggests from where that otherness comes and shows how it can become a cause for celebration rather than shame. “You, the reader, are Esperanza…you cannot forget who you are.” -Sandra Cisneros
  16. 16. A Deceptive Work 1. Language seems simple but it possesses the richness of poetry. 2. Slang and breaks from grammatical correctness contribute to immediacy. 3. Narrated in a young voice, yet it's convincing because it's the creation of a mature and sophisticated writer. 4. Stories come together to tell one complete story. 5. Apparent randomness disguises an artful exploration of themes.
  17. 17. A common misconception… with The House on Mango Street is that it is concise and readable, so therefore it must be unliterary. Do not be fooled. Cisneros is sending you a message about what it is like for people growing up in the world.
  18. 18. The House on Mango Street: Characters • Alicia, the medical student who is still bound to her old fears. • Marin, who waits. • Beautiful Rafaela, the modern-day Rapunzel. • Rosa Vargas, with too many children, crying for the husband who left. • Mamacita, who dreams of the pink house she left behind and refuses to speak English. • Sally, the subject of abuse until she marries, to escape, before eighth grade, and moves from Mango Street into into another sort of trap. • And then there is Esperanza, who is like the skinny trees outside her tiny window, who longs for a house all her own, who starts her own quiet war.
  19. 19. The House on Mango Street: Significance • This is Cisneros’s first novel. • It is a way to relate her cultural identity to her life and the lives of others. • Cisneros seeks to break the cycle of defeats that women suffered due to social and religious stereotypes. • Esperanza is an outlet for the author’s views on the perceptions of women in her milieu. • http://www.galegroup.com/free_ resources/chh/bio/cisneros_s.ht m
  20. 20. Life Lesson According to Cisneros 1. The world does not love you the way you are loved at home. 2. Pain gives you a special vision —a vision to help others who are suffering…. 3. Horrible experiences are there to guide you. 4. Welcome rage, shame, and grief especially if you have a reason to feel them. 5. Humility is essential to finding your voice and hearing others.
  21. 21. Progression of House on Mango Street Vignettes Begins with self & family (comfort), moves to friends (Nenny, unknowingly her closest friend), wanting to grow up, experiences harsh realities (coat room and death), other women and the role they take on, signs from other women that Esperanza should stay strong and be more, and a willingness to get out and give back. • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JryqbTk0ETQ • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2Axoc2K1rU (“Chanclas” and “Beautiful and Cruel”)
  22. 22. The House on Mango Street: Structure • The novel is told as a series of vignettes, 1-4 pages each • There is no real chronological plot, but a series of insights into Esperanza’s thoughts and feelings. • The vignettes show the trends in behavior in the community and provide a contrast between strength and weakness, between freedom and bondage. • The novel is dedicated A Las Mujeres, To the Women.
  23. 23. Structure of Vignettes • 1-39…Introduces narrator and establishes setting • 43-70…Esperanza describes the world beyond Mango St. Despites disappointments, she enjoys life. • 72-84…Focus on Esperanza and the people around her; portraits of other women emerge. • 86-90…Esperanza describes her family & her interactions with them. • 92-101…Esperanza continues to dream and mature…& the progression with Sally (note juxtaposition) • 103-109…Return to Mango Street & home as the subject of Esperanza’s thoughts. • Based on these abstractions, what might be the thread (thesis) that holds these beads (vignettes) together?
  24. 24. The Power of Poetic Devices
  25. 25. Showing versus Telling • Telling: It was foggy. • Showing: The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening, Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains, Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys, Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap, And seeing that it was a soft October night, Curled once about the house, and fell asleep. - excerpt from "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" by T.S. Eliot
  26. 26. Telling & Abstracting Vs. Showing & Concreteness In “Chanclas” Cisneros paints the picture. We deduce that Esperanza is ______________________. • Note details that paint the picture: repetition, imagery, juxtaposition, allusion, shift in point of view, economy. This is the stuff that makes the writing concrete. • Look at vignette. What is it about? What does the picture show us? That is the abstraction. • You provide the picture. Let the reader deduce the feeling.
  27. 27. Unreliable Narrator • A narrator whose account of events appears to be faulty, misleadingly biased, or distorted, so that it departs from the ‘true’ understanding of events shared between the reader and the implied author. • The discrepancy between the unreliable narrator's view of events and the view that readers suspect to be more accurate creates a sense of irony. • The term does not necessarily mean that such a narrator is morally untrustworthy or a habitual liar, he may simply be harmlessly naïve, ‘fallible’, or ill‐informed. • Write in the voice that was you at that age. • “The Earl of Tennesse” “Cathy,” &“Empty Tree Skirt”
  28. 28. Purple Prose—Laying It on Too Thick writing that's just too flowery, too melodramatic, too over the top ‐ in short, too overdone. Examples of Purple Prose: • rosy fingers of dawn • I was an alien out of this world • Butterflies in __________ • King of the ____________ Better Use of Metaphor: • Cars in the frigid cold sputtered, as if gasping for breath • I wrap myself in my pink armour (reference to her pink bathrobe) •http://www.fiction-writers-mentor.com/purple-prose.html
  29. 29. Mango Reflection • Identify one vignette from The House on Mango Street that affected you in some way. Explain • “This isn’t about me understanding the book. It’s about me understanding myself.” ~Jose Oliver
  30. 30. Further Research • For more biographical information: http://www.english.uiuc.edu/maps/poets/a_f/cisneros/bio.htm • For more analysis of The House on Mango Street: http://www.bookrags.com/notes/hms/BIO.htm • To buy books by Sandra Cisneros: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/search-handle- form/102-7635974-7540935 • Teaching resources for Cisneros’s works: http://falcon.jmu.edu/~ramseyil/cisneros.htm
  31. 31. Work Cited: • Modified this original Power Point from: – The House on Mango Street.ppt – Sandra Cisneros.ppt

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