Short of growing up, feminism, and the

Short Stories involve elements of fiction, such as plot, characters, setting, a point of view, symbolism, and theme. Through reading and analyzing these stories that we have read, we are understanding themes such as, coming of age, loneliness, love and more. “The House on Mango Street,” by Sandra Cisneros is a coming of age story through the words and events that revolve around Esperanza and her Mexican American community. Cisneros merges two cultures and languages to tell the story of Esperanza, a young Latina girl who is at the age where she is growing up to be more aware of her surroundings and her adolescence. The point of view of this story is told through first person present day, which the narrator is the main character Esperanza. Through Esperanza, the readers get an insight of the life of a girl who is becoming aware of the world. In this short story, “The House on Mango Street,” Sandra Cisneros uses the setting of her story as the central point of a low-income Latino neighborhood of Chicago. In the story, Esperanza and her family moved into a poor, mostly Latino neighborhood in a city that’s commonly understood to be Chicago, which is also the author’s hometown. In this short story, it is focused on the main character, and her coming of age experiences through her Mexican American low-income family. In this essay, I will recall and analyze the elements of fiction through this short story based on the theme of growing up, feminism, and the power of language. Esperanza is a young Latina girl whose name means hope in English, but in Spanish it means sadness or waiting. She was named after her great- grandmother. She explains that her great-grandmother and herself were born in the Chinese year of the horse. In the chapter Esperanza explains that the year they were both born in is the year that is considered bad luck for women; however, Esperanza does not believe that. In the passage from “My name,” Esperanza explains the meaning of the significance of her name. She explains how her great-grandmother was a symbolism of a wild horse, “My great-grandmother. I would’ve liked to have known her, a wild horse of a woman, so wild she wouldn’t marry.”  This shows that Esperanza’s great- grandmother was strong like a horse, even she refused to be married, eventually she is forced into it. “And the story goes she never forgave him. She looked out the window her whole life, the way so many women sit their sadness on an elbow.” According to Esperanza, she never forgave her husband, and spent her whole life looking out the window. Esperanza states that she does not want to inherit her great-grandmother’s “place by the window” along with her name. This shows that Esperanza is learning the symbolic meaning of her name through the power of words.  Her great- grandmother is an example for the theme of feminism. Esperanza’s great- grandmother shows an example of “trapped women,” which she clearly understands that she does not want to follow in those footsteps; however, she understands that her great- grandmother is being strong like a horse can be a good thing, but the phrase “wild horse of a woman” is a motif of this chapter and also shows how the community sees strong women as somehow non-feminine(10).Esperanza is growing up and is realizing how the world is formed through social norms, cultural norms, and other norms that pertain to society.  In the passage from, “My name,” she explains how she feels that she is old enough to make the decisions to change her name. She describes how in school her name is pronounced differently in both English and Spanish. She decides that she wants to change her name into something more that shows her true self. She decides that a name like “Zeze the X” would be a good choice. Esperanza wants to re-baptize herself and wants to be her own strong person. This is a clear explain of how the power of language is shown. Throughout the story, Esperanza observes the people around her, that she realizes that if you do not know or do not master the language fully it creates a sense of powerlessness, but having the ability to manipulate language gives a sense of power. She wants to change her name in order to have a sense of power oppose to what she is destined to. In the passage of “No speak English,” Mamacita to many does not speak English that many believe that is the reason why she does not go out. According to the community she is powerless because of not being able to master the language fully; however, Mamacita does speak English and does not go outside because she is fat and embarrassed. To many language is a sense of power and dignity, because without it you will not be able to stand up for yourself. Mamacita is an example of how language is making others believe she is powerless for not knowing the language.  Power of language is one of the themes Cisneros explains through Esperanza and it is a symbol of her strength as a Mexican American, young Latina girl who is from a low-income family (76). Growing up is part of a young child’s adolescence’s stage where he or she begins to think about genders, sexuality, romance, and much more. Esperanza is at the stage of finding herself like wanting to change her name to give sense of power and wearing high heels around her community. The passage, “The Family of little feet,” Esperanza and her friends are trying high heels on. The girls try the shoes on and realize that their legs look longer and womanlier. They walk around their block and receive comments from men, which frightens and disturbs the girls, so they discard the shoes. This shows that it is scary to be seen as a sexual object by those who have physical and social power over them. Cisneros demonstrates the symbol of the shoes as a form of growing up, power, sexuality, and feminism since it shows that through the power of the shoes that males are more desirable for women as a sexual object. This is clearly showing that Esperanza will be dealing with growing up and the dangers of not having a sense of power towards comments like the ones given to her and her friends (39).  “The House on Mango Street,” explores the life of a young Latina girl, named Esperanza. In this story, Esperanza is at the age of growing up through learning how to deal with themes such as power of language and feminism. In the passage, “My name” and “No speak English” we understand the power that language has, because without language women have no power or say in society. Esperanza’s great- grandmother was forced into a marriage that she did not want to be in and is seen as the version of Rapunzel, since she was a woman waiting by the window. Cisneros uses setting, theme and symbols throughout the story to show the meaning of power.  The short story is being narrated in first person point of view, which gives the readers a sense of the struggles of growing up through Esperanza’s life.