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The House On Mango Street

Compact Language

Compiled by Amy Rivera

In the book, The House On Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros uses a compact way of writing.  Take for example, a compactor.  It takes a lot of material, and using a device, compacts it into less, still containing the same material.   This is just the same as compact writing.  The author uses compact language to express broad topics, such as stereotypes.  By using literary devices like similes and metaphors, she makes the topic much less involved.

Through this technique, the reader can let their imagination run wild.   In some situations, the reader is left to decide on the topic using what information they have.  Depending on how someone interprets the given writings, each person could get something different from one single sentence. 

Even though Cisneros uses this compact language, she is still able to express her ideas.  However, she leaves a lot of the thinking to the reader.   Also, by writing in this way, it is up to the reader to decide whether or not they want to understand a particular topic.  A greater range of ages can read this book since Cisneros does not come right out with all the details on certain issues.

This form of writing is effective, and really makes you think about what you are reading.

Similes and Metaphors That Represent Esperanza

"Esperanza is a book with no ending.  She doesn't know what is going to happen next." - Amy Rivera

"Esperanza is like the sun on a cloudy day." - Bobbi Sue McArthur

"Esperanza's life is like a box of chocolates.   She'll never know what she's gonna get."  - Laura Brientnall


These metaphors and similes are a more creative way of expressing Esperanza's personality.  By using these literary devices to compare to Esperanza, the reader can get a more vivid image of what the author is trying to portray.  In the first metaphor, it is saying that Esperanza is living her life not knowing what is going to happen next.  Just like a book without an ending, as of now, Esperanza doesn't know where she is going either.  In the second simile, it is saying that Esperanza is always trying to be cheerful, even in the worst situations.  This is similar to how the sun tries to shine, pushing through the clouds.  The last simile is similar to the first one.  It is saying that Esperanza doesn't know what to expect of her life.   These devices let you think about what the author is saying, and lets you use your imagination to think about the character.  This form of comparison makes the reading more interesting.


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Last updated:  Sunday, March 18, 2001

1998 - Hill, Lara and her English 1 Honors Class