Date Added: October 14, 2022
In “The House on Mango Street,” Esperanza says how she and her family settled into their current home on Mango Street. When the landlord refused to restore the broken pipes in their former flat, she and her parents, brothers Carlos and Kiki, and sister Nanny were forced to relocate to Mango Street. The family did much uprooting before settling into their current home on Mango Street. Their ideal home was a large, white mansion with many bathrooms, but they were stuck in a tiny, one-bedroom shack on Mango Street instead. Though her parents assure her that this is simply a temporary residence, Esperanza is not optimistic that they will be leaving any time soon. However, the property offers several substantial benefits over the family’s prior accommodation. Since the family now owns their home, they are no longer at the mercy of landlords; in addition, Esperanza no longer has to deal with the nun who made her feel wrong about where she lived while renting an apartment. Although the home on Mango Street is better than the one Esperanza wants to claim as her own, it is not quite the same (Cisneros).
Although Esperanza devotes most of The House on Mango Street to discussing her family’s significance and experiences, she gradually broadens her emphasis. In these early chapters, we learn a great deal about Esperanza’s family and home; for example, she describes how the scent of her mother’s hair gives her comfort. However, the family is a precursor of Esperanza’s future extended family: the neighborhood. With its greater community, Mango Street gradually consumes Esperanza’s existence; home and family are only the Novel’s beginning point (Cisneros).
Alice Walker’s Everyday Use is a short tale about a hardworking black woman and her two very different children. Some may see it as the narrative of a mother standing up to her ungrateful daughter, while others may see it as a tale of family history. In that sense, it is also a narrative about the people that make up this particular family and the relationships inside that group. There are Dee and Maggie, two children. Dee and Maggie are different, and this diversity informs Mama’s treatment of them. At the story’s conclusion, Mama changes her behavior drastically. Dee’s mother has much affection for her, although she is not as well educated as her daughter. Mothers and daughters often have different opinions about things. This is not precisely what is bothering Mama and her daughters, but there are underlying tensions between Mama and Dee (Walker).
On the other hand, Mama says she is a massive, big-boned lady with harsh, man-working hands who can slaughter and skin a hog with the same brutal efficiency as a man. Mama says she never finished school but always knew she wanted Dee to. She sacrifices a lot to make sure Dee can go to college, but when Dee visits, her mother assumes the worst about her because she is a snob and a taker. It all starts when Dee and her new lover stop to have lunch with Mama and Maggie. When Dee and Hakim. An a.barber leave, she asks to take various items with them. Dee has no idea the history of the items she wants to take with her. Maggie, though, does. While Maggie is the more reserved and timid of the two sisters, she is still well-versed and proud of her family history and heritage.
Before running away from her childhood home and her family, Dee never bothered to study anything. Perhaps Dee felt superior to her relatives, or perhaps she did not give a damn about them. Thus, when Dee begs Mama for the quilts, the quilts, as David White put it, “have particular importance to Mama. She is symbolically reaching out to the individuals whose stories are told in the quilts. Mama attempts to convince Dee not to take the quilts since she knows Dee does not understand or appreciate the family history behind them. Mama loves Dee but has to stand her ground on this issue. According to Juan R. Velazquez, “Dee has gone toward other customs that go against the traditions and legacy of her own family:” she is seeking to connect herself to her African ancestors and has changed her name to Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo. While trying to reconnect with her distant ancestry, she is ignoring or rejecting the heritage she shares with her mother and sister.
The quilts serve as a great symbolic focal point in this narrative. Maggie and Mama appreciate them because they remind them of their origins. Dee does not seem to grasp that those quilts are essentially family heirlooms. Unlike Maggie, who used the resources available to her in her own house, Dee never cared to learn about or appreciate the history under her nose all along. So, in the end, Mama kept her ground and did not give Dee the quilts. Maggie, the daughter who did not have as much as Dee and was not as “educated” as Dee, was the recipient of the quilts because her mother knew she would put them to better use. Dee had no right to hang them up without using them since they had been crafted with love by the family. Maggie is no stranger to being scorched; maybe Mama felt bad about leaving Maggie in Dee’s shadow throughout her life and decided that even her youngest child deserved some good fortune. Unfortunately for Dee, she overlooked the family’s most important aspect of any house. She could break free and “do better” for herself, but she never took the time to acknowledge the individuals who had played a role in her success (Walker).
In these early chapters of “The House on Mango Street”, we learn a great deal about Esperanza’s family and home; for example, she describes how the scent of her mother’s hair gives her comfort. Although she takes solace in her mother’s hair, Esperanza does not make another reference to her mother in the other 35 sections of the Novel. However, the family is a prologue of Esperanza’s future extended family: the neighbourhood. However, as we see in “Everyday Use, “love between a family is shown.
- Cisneros, Sandra. The House On Mango Street.
- Walker, Alice. Everyday Use.