By Mary Patterson Thornburg
This concise complement to Cisneros' the home on Mango road & girl Hollering Creek is helping scholars comprehend the general constitution of the paintings, activities and motivations of the characters, and the social and cultural views of the writer.
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Extra resources for The House on Mango Street and Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories (Cliffs Notes)
Moreover, her behavior prevents the friendships with girls that might offer some relief from her unhappy situation. Only Esperanza is loyal to her—and Esperanza’s loyalty will eventually be betrayed, for one facet of the sexual imperative that both girls feel (and to which Sally can find no alternative) is the feeling that other females are expendable. S. culture in the 1950s and 1960s certainly reinforced it, approving solidarity among young men but promoting divisiveness and suspicion among young women.
Esperanza feels herself to be homeless in that there is no place for her in anything she knows, no precedent that she is aware of for a woman who wants to live a life of her own, not directed by her father or by a husband, and not—at the same time— required to renounce her existence as a sexual being in order to avoid being the property of a man. Esperanza is a creative person, and the space she needs for herself is a space she must create—a roomy place, where she can be generous but can relegate others to “the attic” as guests but not necessarily friends.
Minerva asks Esperanza what she can do. In “Bums in the Attic,” Esperanza describes the house she wants to have someday. Her father is a gardener in a wealthy district, and on his day off he used to take his family to look at those places where he works. Now Esperanza refuses to go with them. Still, she wants a house like one of those; she says she’ll let passing bums stay at her house, and they can sleep in the attic. Commentary The previous group of chapters found Esperanza being pulled by her emotions and physical feelings toward a sexual relationship with a young man.