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The House On Mango Street

Male and Female Relationships

Compiled by Amanda Ortiz

There are different types of relationships in the book, The House On Mango Street, by Sandra Cisneros.  The relationship between a man and a woman is one type that is addressed in this novel.  The relationships between males and females include the way each of the parties view each other, how they act towards each other, and how they view themselves in the relationship.  In this novel, the reader is exposed to a variety of couples.  Some have equal partnership, while in others, one may have superiority over the other.  In some cases, one may have no power at all.  The type of relationship that is predominant in this book portrays a man having superiority over a woman.  In essence, the men seem to control the women.  They view them not as the women they are, but merely as objects.  As a result, most of the female characters in this novel are weak and cannot do anything for themselves.  Even though there were other types of relationships in the book, I feel that this one had one of the biggest impacts on the reader.

 

The class worked in groups to look at the different things Cisneros is trying to say to the reader regarding male and female relationships.

 

"A Smart Cookie"

Lynne, Laura, Danielle, and Lawrence

 

Sandra Cisneros is trying to tell the reader not to depend on men, and to learn how to live on your own. Women in this chapter are shown to be feminine. Back then, it was unusual for women to be smart.

 

"Sire"

Melissa, Amy, Mike, and Laura

From reading this vignette, we assume that Sandra Cisneros is implying that women are sometimes considered inferior and are treated that way by men. In this situation, men are taking advantage of women.

 

"The Earl of Tennessee"

Stephanie, Andrew, Chad, and Lauren

 

In this chapter, the author is trying to suggest that women are just objects to men. Earl uses the women, gets what he wants, and then discards them. If he is married, he is not loyal to his wife. Sandra Cisneros is trying to say that women in comparison to men are weaker.

 

"Beautiful and Cruel"

Kristin, Mandy, Jessica, Jeremy, and Lesley

Sandra Cisneros is trying to say that the ugly women are the dreamers who wait around for the man of their dreams. The beautiful women attract all the men, but they take them for granted.

 

"Sally"

A.J., Jenna, Kyle, Nina, Elizabeth, and Angela

 

Sandra Cisneros is trying to say that women feel that it is their job to impress the men by wearing short skirts, make-up, etc. They are subservient to the male population, and are suppressed. They are expected to be nave, and obey the men.

 

"Rafaela Who Drinks Coconut and Papaya Juice on Tuesdays"

Amanda, Kyle, Lee, Bobbi Sue, and Amy

 

Sandra Cisneros is trying to say that men see women as an object. She explains this by making Rafaela and her husband’s relationship seem this way by telling the reader of how he locks her in the house. It seems as if he is protecting an object from the thieves of the world.

 

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Last updated:  Sunday, March 18, 2001

1998 - Hill, Lara and her English 1 Honors Class