A Raisin in the Sun and A House on Mango Street: Analysis of Characters
How far would you go to make your dreams come true? Would you be willing to give up things you love and go through many hardships just to turn your dream into a reality? Even if the dream has a low chance of coming true and is an unrealistic goal, will you still stop at nothing to get it? Well in both A Raisin in the Sun and A House on Mango Street the characters go through a lot, just to make their dreams come true. Even though these stories are not the same in many aspects, they share the same theme of trying to find their identity and making their dreams come true when they have to go through many different struggles to succeed. Both stories go through the problems of racial discimination, big changes, family issues, and self identity. Let’s now dig deeper into the similarities between these two stories.
First of all, one of the biggest common themes both stories share is turning their dreams into a reality. In A House on Mango Street, Esperanza was dreaming of getting out of her neighborhood and getting her own house. With her family, she moved frequently from one place to another. Her mother tells her that they’re going to stop moving one day and they’re going to move into a huge home. Deep down, Esperanza realizes she’s never going to move her family into a comfortable big home. It would be important for her to be the one to make her dreams come true. There is a resemblance between The House on Mango Street and A Raisin in the Sun. By spending his father’s money in the liquor store, Walter from A Raisin in the Sun thinks of how to make his family happy. Walter thinks money is life and there is nothing more important in life than money. He knows in the end, however, that happiness is when you are embraced by your family, which embraces all the steps along the way for you. In A Raisin in the Sun he says, “And we have decided to move into our house because my father—my father—he earned it for us brick by brick. (MAMA has her eyes closed and is rocking back and forth as though she were in church, with her head nodding the Amen yes) We don’t want to make no trouble for nobody or fight no causes, and we will try to be good neighbors. And that’s all we got to say about that. (He looks the man absolutely in the eyes) We don’t want your money. (He turns and walks away). (Act 3)” When Walter said that, we can finally see him change and value his family. He finally acknowledges all his father’s hard work and we no longer see him as a greedy man. Beneatha also had a dream of becoming a doctor. Even when her brother doubted her, she still worked hard for her passion and denied what Walter and other men said. In the play she said, “ No—I wanted to cure. It used to be so important to me. I wanted to cure. It used to matter. I used to care. I mean about people and how their bodies hurt …(act 3)” We can see that Beneatha really cares for others and has a true passion to become a doctor. Beneatha, regardless of people denying that women should be doctors, proved those people wrong and fought for what she wanted. Both stories share that common theme of working hard to make dreams come true, but having to face reality and realizing the truth.
Secondly, a big similarity between both stories is how they both struggled to fit in society because of race and gender. Both families have trouble with racial discrimination and have trouble adjusting to american culture. In A Raisin in the Sun and A House on Mango Street, culture, gender, and race played a big role. For Esperanza, her whole life is essentially determined by recognizing what she can hold of her identity as a Latina and which aspects of American culture she should fit. In the play, the desire to blend in economically and socially in order to make their own life happier, while maintaining their own sense of belonging is a struggle for the younger family. In the play Walter says, “ Mama – sometimes when I’m downtown and I pass them cool-quiet-looking restaurants where them white boys are sitting back and talking ‘bout things…sitting there turning deals worth millions of dollars…sometimes I see guys don’t look much older than me – (Act 1 Scene 2)” From this quote in the play, you can see how much more privileged white people are than people of color. Even if those men were the same age as Walter, they will always have much more privileges than people like Walter will ever get. Both Esperanza and Walter have to deal with the problem of not being treated fairly just because of their race and skin color. Both stories also deal with feminism where Beneatha and Esperanza are trying to find their identity as females. The author also answers feminism issues. She proposes, through Beneatha’s character, that marriage is not mandatory for women and that women should have successful career ambitions. Even though the men in the play are doubtful towards women and don’t believe that women should be powerful, the author proves that wrong. In the play Walter said, “Who the hell told you you had to be a doctor? If you so crazy ‘bout messing ‘round with sick people – then go be a nurse like other women – or just get married and be quiet…(Act 1 Scene 1)” From this, we can see Walter turning down the idea of Beneatha wanting to be a doctor and stereotyping women as people who are only capable of being a nurse and getting married. He makes women appear as people who are not important and helpless in society. Eventually we see Beneatha breaking that stereotype and proving Walter wrong. In both stories the characters overcome all these issues of racism, sexism, and finding their identity.
In conclusion, both A Raisin in the Sun and A House on Mango Street are quite similar. The two stories share many similar topics and themes where the characters both face similar challenges. We saw how Walter, Beneatha, and Esperanza worked hard to make their dreams come true while facing many hardships. The characters grew and developed an understanding that achieving your dreams isn’t easy and sometimes the road will be rocky. We also saw the characters struggling to fit in society because of race and gender. Both families had trouble with racial discrimination and have trouble adjusting to american culture. The characters were essentially determined to recognize what they can hold of their identity and their desire to blend in economically and socially in order to make their own life happier while maintaining their own sense of belonging. Both stories were amazing and had good meanings behind them. The main lesson we learned from all of this is sometimes in life we all have to go through certain struggles to get a good outcome.
Through the movie Zootopia and the book The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros many forms of harmful stereotyping can be seen. These harmful connotations of stereotyping are dividing groups of people and are usually very discriminatory to a race or sex of people. Society should not be so quick to judge or generalize a group of people and everyone should stick to their own opinions and not let others influence them. Harmful stereotyping can break bonds and trust...
The initial colloquial tone and antiliterary voice that pervades Sandra Cisneros`s The House on Mango Street is a deceiving ruse that initially conceals a narrative that employs its voice to question longstanding societal structures and hierarchies. The narrative voice of Esperanza reflects her own personal quest for agency, one that defies the previous lack of opportunities afforded to women in her position and in her family. This is both a vocal act of defiance, as the novel`s story follows Esperanza...
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Assignment: Read both required texts and then complete the graphic organizer below. The questions require you to apply Foster’s concepts to analyze the novel House on Mango Street. Be prepared for a test on both books when you return. Introduction: How’d He Do That? How do memory, symbol, and pattern affect the reading of literature? How does the recognition of patterns make it easier to read complicated literature? Discuss a time when your appreciation of a literary work was enhanced...
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