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The House on Mango Street

Clear and Readable, Succinct, and Poetic.

❶What's Up With the Ending? We don't mean that it's ostentatious or flowery — to the contrary, it's natural, clear, and easy to understand.

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What is the meaning of Esperanza’s name?
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by Sandra Cisneros

Imagine you're streaming a live feed of someone's thoughts, and you've got the basic idea. The writing style of "Eleven" illustrates this concept in an entirely user-friendly manner:. Not mine, not mine, not mine, but Mrs. Price is already turning to page thirty-two, and math problem number four.

I don't know why but all of a sudden I'm feeling sick inside, like the part of me that's three wants to come out of my eyes, only I squeeze them shut tight and bite down on my teeth real hard and try to remember today I am eleven, eleven.

Mama is making a cake for me for tonight, and when Papa comes home everybody will sing Happy birthday, happy birthday to you. Cisneros' word choice and sentence structure both illustrate the stream of consciousness writing style. The use of so many commas connects all the thoughts together. If the sentences were broken up with more periods, then they would read like distinct thoughts: But here, all the commas connect the thoughts of feeling sick, squeezing your eyes shut, biting down on your teeth, and remembering it's your birthday together into one jumbled thought-cluster.

The rambling nature of this tone makes sense to us because our thoughts generally do come to us in frenzied clusters like this, especially during trying circumstances. Prior to this job, she worked in the Chicano barrio in Chicago, teaching high school dropouts at Latino Youth High School. Through these jobs, she gained more experience with the problems of young Latino Americans.

In addition to being an author and poet, Cisneros has held various academic and teaching positions. The publication of The House on Mango Street secured her a succession of writer-in-residence posts at universities in the United States, [15] teaching creative writing at institutions such as the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Michigan. Cisneros has also worked as a college recruiter and an arts administrator.

Cisneros currently resides in San Miguel de Allende, a city in central Mexico, but for years she lived and wrote in San Antonio, Texas, in her briefly controversial [17] "Mexican-pink" home with "many creatures little and large. My writing is my child and I don't want anything to come between us.

The New Mestiza , Cisneros wrote: So that the relatives and family would allow me the liberty to disappear into myself. To reinvent myself if I had to. As Latinas, we have to Because writing is like putting your head underwater.

Cisneros's writing is often influenced by her personal experiences and by observations of many of the people in her community. She once confided to other writers at a conference in Santa Fe that she writes down "snippets of dialogue or monologue—records of conversations she hears wherever she goes.

Names for her characters often come from the San Antonio phone book; "she leafs through the listings for a last name, then repeats the process for a first name. Cisneros once found herself so immersed in the characters of her book Woman Hollering Creek that they began to infiltrate her subconscious mind. Once while she was writing the story "Eyes of Zapata," she awoke "in the middle of the night, convinced for the moment that she was Ines, the young bride of the Mexican revolutionary.

Her dream conversation with Zapata then became those characters' dialogue in her story. Her biculturalism and bilingualism are also very important aspects of her writing. Cisneros was quoted by Robin Ganz as saying that she is grateful to have "twice as many words to pick from Cisneros has been instrumental in building a strong community in San Antonio among other artists and writers through her work with the Macondo Foundation and the Alfredo Cisneros del Moral Foundation.

The Residency Program provides writers with a furnished room and office in the Casa Azul, a blue house across the street from where Cisneros lives in San Antonio, which is also the headquarters of the Macondo Foundation. Cisneros founded the Alfredo Cisneros del Moral Foundation in Literary critic Claudia Sadowski-Smith has called Cisneros "perhaps the most famous Chicana writer", [29] and Cisneros has been acknowledged as a pioneer in her literary field as the first female Mexican-American writer to have her work published by a mainstream publisher.

As Ganz observes, previously only male Chicano authors had successfully made the crossover from smaller publishers. Cisneros spoke of her success and what it meant for Chicana literature in an interview on National Public Radio on 19 September I think I can't be happy if I'm the only one that's getting published by Random House when I know there are such magnificent writers — both Latinos and Latinas, both Chicanos and Chicanas — in the U.

And, you know, if my success means that other presses will take a second look at these writers As a pioneer Chicana author, Cisneros filled a void by bringing to the fore a genre that had previously been at the margins of mainstream literature. Cisneros often incorporates Spanish into her English writing, substituting Spanish words for English ones where she feels that Spanish better conveys the meaning or improves the rhythm of the passage. Such a funny name for such a lovely arroyo.

But that's what they called the creek that ran behind the house. She enjoys manipulating the two languages, creating new expressions in English by literally translating Spanish phrases. Cisneros noted on this process: As she discovered, after writing The House on Mango Street primarily in English, "the syntax, the sensibility, the diminutives, the way of looking at inanimate objects" were all characteristic of Spanish. Cisneros's fiction comes in various forms—as novels, poems, and short stories—by which she challenges both social conventions, with her "celebratory breaking of sexual taboos and trespassing across the restrictions that limit the lives and experiences of Chicanas", and literary ones, with her "bold experimentation with literary voice and her development of a hybrid form that weaves poetry into prose".

Cisneros alternates between first person, third person, and stream-of-consciousness narrative modes, and ranges from brief impressionistic vignettes to longer event-driven stories, and from highly poetic language to brutally frank realist language. Some stories lack a narrator to mediate between the characters and the reader; they are instead composed of textual fragments or conversations "overheard" by the reader. For example, "Little Miracles, Kept Promises" is composed of fictional notes asking for the blessings of patron saints, and "The Marlboro Man" transcribes a gossiping telephone conversation between two female characters.

Works by Cisneros can appear simple at first reading, but this is deceptive. Cruz describes how each individual will interact differently with Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories , thus eliciting such varied reader responses as "it is about growing up", to "it's about a Chicana's growing up", to "it is a critique of patriarchal structures and exclusionary practices".

When Cisneros describes the aspirations and struggles of Chicanas, the theme of place often emerges. Place refers not only to her novels' geographic locations, but also to the positions her characters hold within their social context. Chicanas frequently occupy Anglo-dominated and male-dominated places where they are subject to a variety of oppressive and prejudicial behaviors; one of these places that is of particular interest to Cisneros is the home.

Not an apartment in back. Not a man's house. A house all my own. With my porch and my pillow, my pretty purple petunias. My books and my stories. My two shoes waiting beside the bed. Nobody to shake a stick at. Nobody's garbage to pick up after. Critics such as Jacqueline Doyle and Felicia J.

Cruz have compared this theme in Cisneros's work to one of the key concepts in Virginia Woolf 's famous essay " A Room of One's Own ", that "a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction," or put another way, "economic security" and personal liberty are necessary for "artistic production.

Cisneros explores the issue of place in relation not only to gender but also to class. Esperanza says "Passing bums will ask, Can I come in? I'll offer them the attic, ask them to stay, because I know how it is to be without a house.

As Madsen has described, Cisneros's "effort to negotiate a cross-cultural identity is complicated by the need to challenge the deeply rooted patriarchal values of both Mexican and American cultures.

Cisneros shows how Chicanas, like women of many other ethnicities, internalize these norms starting at a young age, through informal education by family members and popular culture. In The House on Mango Street , for example, a group of girl characters speculate about what function a woman's hips have: You need them to dance, says Lucy You gotta know how to walk with hips, practice you know. However, when they reach adolescence and womanhood, they must reconcile their expectations about love and sex with their own experiences of disillusionment, confusion and anguish.

Esperanza describes her "sexual initiation"—an assault by a group of Anglo-American boys while awaiting her friend Sally at the fairground. When Cisneros addresses the subject of female sexuality, she often portrays negative scenarios in which men exert control over women through control over their sexuality, and explores the gap she perceives between the real sexual experiences of women and their idealized representation in popular culture. However, Cisneros also describes female sexuality in extremely positive terms, especially in her poetry.

This is true, for example, of her volume of poetry My Wicked, Wicked Ways.

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Sandra Cisneros Writing Style She often incorporates Spanish into her English writing, substituting Spanish words for English ones where she feels that Spanish better conveys the meaning or improves the rhythm of the passage.

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Sandra Cisneros's writing style in the novel The House on Mango Street transcends two genres, poetry and the short story. The novel is written in a series of poetic vignettes that make it easy to read. These distinguishing attributes are combined to create the backbone of Cisneros's unique style and structure.

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The writing style of "Eleven" illustrates this concept in an entirely user-friendly manner: Not mine, not mine, not mine, but Mrs. Price is already turning to page thirty-two, and math problem number four. Secondly, her style is poetic. We don't mean that it's ostentatious or flowery – to the contrary, it's natural, clear, and easy to understand. By poetic, we mean Cisneros's sentences are full of imagery, metaphors, and word games.

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Sandra Cisneros (born December 20, ) is a Mexican-American writer. She is best known for her first novel The House on Mango Street () and her subsequent short story collection Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories (). Cisneros' Writing Style Both The House on Mango Street and "Woman Hollering Creek" and Other Stories by Cisneros may seem to the hasty first-time reader to be casually, even loosely constructed, yet the careful reader suspects that nothing could be further from the truth.