Symbolism in The House on Mango Street

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Coming of age is like a plant, starts off as nothing but a seed, small, sweet, and innocent but slowly over time begins to grow into something much bigger. Much like a plant is a person, that can grow and learn and this can be seen in the novel House On Mango Street written by Sandra Cisneros. The beginning of the novel shows the sadness felt by Esperanza having to constantly move from house to house, always having to share, having responsibility of her younger sister Nenny, living in a neighborhood where she feels unwelcomed, struggling with her identity, and finally making friends but not being able to share how she truly feels because they dont understand her experiences.

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Towards the middle readers can see a little transformation on the way Esperanza acts and thinks, which is more adult-like. At the end is where Esperanza grows the most she gets a job and learns to deal and cope with multiple deaths. In the novel The House On Mango Street written by Sandra Cisneros uses Figurative language, symbolism, indirect characterization, diction, and selection of details to portray the theme of coming of age and how both good and bad experiences play an important role on how and when someone grows and matures in life.

In the first vignette The House On Mango Street Sandra Cisneros uses a selection of details to show a theme of coming of age and how certain experiences can cause people to grow up in different ways. For one thing, the author states but what I remember most is moving a lot (Cisneros,1). This detail can show readers that moving a lot can mean getting to know a whole new neighborhood, never having real friends, and having to constantly try to make new friends, doing all of this many times can lead to depression and loneliness. This supports the theme of coming of age because it shows how people start off as, which is sad and alone. Another key point, is when the author states Each time there seemed to be one more of us (Cisneros,1). This detail shows that since her family was growing, and not only did she grow up poor, but also had to look after and take care for each child. This ties back to the theme of coming of age because being able to look after someone other than yourself shows responsibility and if someone is responsible then their growing up and beginning to mature. All in all, the theme coming of age occurs multiple times in the text to show that both good and bad experiences are an important factor in growing up, such as being faced with the struggle of moving from house to house and having the responsibility of younger siblings.

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