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THE HOUSE ON
MANGO STREET
BY SANDRA CISNEROS

Analysis of Genre and Literary Movement
By Melissa DeGraaff
Why I Chose This Reading
◦ I had no idea what The House On Mango Street was about when I signed up for this
reading, but I...
Genre
◦ This story could be classified in so many different genres, but I’d have to say that I think
it’s more of a coming...
Genre Continued
◦ Houses: Esperanza bounces from house to house as a child. She longs for a home of her own,
and you can s...
Literary Movement
◦ The House on Mango Street was written during the Postmodernism era
◦ Postmodernism: A term applied to ...
Literary Movement Continued
◦ The House on Mango Street addresses the two most common stereotypes of poor, largely
Mexican...
Literary Movement Continued
◦ The House on Mango Street is written in a very unconventional style, with 44 vignettes
that ...
Works Cited
◦ The American Novel, PBS, 2007, Educational Broadcasting Corporation,
http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americannovel/t...
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The House on Mango Street

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My context presentation about the genre and literary movement of The House on Mango Street, by Sandra Cisneros.

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The House on Mango Street

  1. 1. THE HOUSE ON MANGO STREET BY SANDRA CISNEROS Analysis of Genre and Literary Movement By Melissa DeGraaff
  2. 2. Why I Chose This Reading ◦ I had no idea what The House On Mango Street was about when I signed up for this reading, but I’m glad I chose it. This book was a great story about relationships between families, neighbors, friends, and the opposite sex, as well as the longing of a little girl to have a real home.
  3. 3. Genre ◦ This story could be classified in so many different genres, but I’d have to say that I think it’s more of a coming of age tale than anything else. ◦ Coming of age story: A novel in which an adolescent protagonist comes to adulthood by a process of experience and disillusionment. This character loses his or her innocence, discovers that previous preconceptions are false, or has the security of childhood torn away, but usually matures and strengthens by this process.
  4. 4. Genre Continued ◦ Houses: Esperanza bounces from house to house as a child. She longs for a home of her own, and you can see her perception of “a home of her own” develop through the stories she tells of the home lives in her neighborhood, showing the cultivation of Esperanza’s current point of view as she “comes of age.” ◦ Boys & Girls: The many relationships between the boys and girls on Mango Street are indicative of a coming of age story. For Esperanza, the most significant romantic (I’m being ironic) situation that happens to her is at the carnival, by the tilt a whirl, when a boy kisses her and it’s not at all how she thought it would be. Her innocent perception of romance is lost in this scene. ◦ Marriage: Esperanza grows up seeing women suppressed by their dysfunctional marriages and by having too many kids that they can’t handle, and at the end of the story she realizes that she wants her house to be her house. She discovers that the preconceptions many girls have of marriage are false. She doesn’t need a man or children in order to have her dream home, or to be happy.
  5. 5. Literary Movement ◦ The House on Mango Street was written during the Postmodernism era ◦ Postmodernism: A term applied to literature that takes into account the reality of each person, rather than assuming a general reality for each group of people. Often written with seemingly disruptions in the text, or in a comic, absurd manner
  6. 6. Literary Movement Continued ◦ The House on Mango Street addresses the two most common stereotypes of poor, largely Mexican/Latin American populated neighborhoods ◦ 1: There’s gang activity ◦ 2: You are likely to be killed if you’re unfamiliar with the territory ◦ She addresses the former with the story about the guy who was suddenly able to afford a brand new car, and was just as suddenly arrested by the police. She addresses the latter by saying, “They think we will attack them with shiny knives” (Chapter 12, Paragraph 1). Yet the story is not about these stereotypes, it’s about a girl who’s growing up around them. Cisneros makes no great sweeping generalization about human life, she simply tells Esperanza’s story, therefore keeping The House on Mango Street postmodernist.
  7. 7. Literary Movement Continued ◦ The House on Mango Street is written in a very unconventional style, with 44 vignettes that seem quite choppy and unrelated. There are lots of disruptions in the story where Esperanza will jump from one story to another, with no sensible reasoning. This book is also written comically through the narrator’s childlike voice. According to PBS.org’s definition Postmodernism, these are characteristics of a Postmodernist book.
  8. 8. Works Cited ◦ The American Novel, PBS, 2007, Educational Broadcasting Corporation, http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americannovel/timeline/ ◦ 1940’s-Present Post Modernism, PBS, 2007, Educational Broadcasting Corporation, http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americannovel/timeline/postmodernism.html ◦ Dr. L. Kip Wheeler, Literary Terms and Definitions, Dr. Wheeler’s Website, 1998-2013, http://web.cn.edu/kwheeler/lit_terms_C.html ◦ Sandra Cisneros, The House on Mango Street, 1984

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