The House on Mango Street Analysis Essay
In The House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros argues that women are placed lower than men in society.
Through the motif of women obeying their husbands, Cisneros argues that society places women lower than men. Once females get married they are required to obey their husbands’ wishes whether that is to do housework or to raise children. In various cultures, they are to follow the rules created for them and be ready to serve their partners. In the book, the author gives the example of the character, Rafaela obeying her husband's words even though she wasn’t fond of listening. “Rafaela...gets locked indoors because her husband is afraid” (Cisneros 70). She is trapped in the house as a result of her husband’s paranoia and words. The women having to obey the men and not the opposite proves that men have the authority and are in charge of running the household. They are placed lower in society and are inferior due to being females. Later, Cisneros continues to argue her point about women by giving the example of the character, Sally. Near the conclusion of the book, Sally, a young girl, lives by her husband’s cruel rules. They are not to her liking but she still obeys as “he won't let her talk on the phone. And he doesn't let her look at the window. And he doesn't like her friends, so nobody gets to visit her... She sits at home because she is afraid to go outside without his permission” (Cisneros 102). Sally is viewed as lower in society than her husband, a male because she is under his control. After being wed, she is considered her husband’s property. She is fearful of his power and being the male of the household, he is superior. Therefore, Cisneros proves that women are viewed as lower than men by society.
Cisneros argues that women are placed lower than men by having women stay at home and do housework for their entire lives regardless of their dreams. Women's dreams are overlooked because they are told that their futures will be at. Their main jobs will be to cook, clean, and eventually raise children. Many people believe that men should go out and make money while women stay put indoors. In the book, the author gives the example of the character, Esperanza’s mother, staying home even though she had goals when she was younger. Her mother says to her, “I could’ve been somebody, you know? Study hard” (Cisneros 91). Esperanza’s mother wanted to be someone who had a real job, but she couldn’t be. She advises Esperanza to ensure that she tries to follow her dreams as she was not able to. Her husband, however, Esperanza’s father, was able to work and have a real job and make money. Women do not get to follow their dreams and work as men do. Cisneros continues to argue her point about women by giving the example of the character Alicia. Alicia’s mother passed away when she was young so she was pressured into completing the housework. She had her ambitions but she was stuck at home. Alicia doesn’t want to spend her whole life “behind a rolling pin. [However] she inherited her mama’s rolling pin” (Cisneros, 31-32). Her aspirations were overlooked because she had to take care of her household by cooking and cleaning. No matter how much she studies, Alicia would end up with her mother’s job. Alicia is viewed as lower in society because she was not able to do what she wanted, unlike the men. Thus, Cisneros proves that women are placed lower in society compared to men because their dreams are neglected and they are forced to do housework.