Symbolism and Cisneros' the House Thesis

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However, there is also danger to the sexuality that lies behind sweetness, as when a girl Sally, marries a marshmallow salesman to escape an abusive father, entering a union that seems as bad as the home she is leaving.

A final symbol of the novel is that of play -- few adult women, except for the insane Ruthie, are seen enjoying themselves over the course of the novel. Girls can play at jump rope and look at clouds, but they worry about how the burdens and cares of an adult life -- like abusive or absent husbands, children, and money worries -- will weigh them down, as their bodies mature.
Men are shown playing and gambling, but women must put their own pleasures aside for fathers, husbands, and brothers. Early on in the novel, Esperanza comments how even in her family the boys and the girls tend to separate as the play. Esperanza longs for a place where she can play, a place with a yard, so she can say good-bye to Mango Street and its confining notions of class, gender, and what her future should resemble as a Latina girl......

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