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Loss of Innocence in House On Mango Street Essay


In-between Innocence

In the novel The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros, Esperanza is a young teenage girl who talks about her growing up in a place that she does not really like. One of the reasons why she does not seem to like the place in which she lives in is due to her loss of innocence. Esperanza experiences several situations that make her realize that life is not all spring and blossom, in other words life is not perfect. Some situations she goes through have a greater impact in her life than other situations that dont really affect her daily life. Many remarkable experiences that we go through can change our life and way of thinking, sometimes this being for the good and sometimes for the bad.

Many times girls get taken advantage of and that influences with their thoughts and views of life. In the novel The House on Mango Street, Esperanza experiences some tough situations which make her conscious about things she didnt think of. In this quote Esperanza experiences a forced kiss which makes her wonder about all males.

He had nice eyes and I didnt feel so nervous anymore. Then he asked if I knew what day it was, and when I said I didnt, he said it was his birthday and would I please give him a birthday kiss. I thought I would because he was so old and just as I was about to put my lips on his cheek, he grabs my face with both hands and kisses me hard on the mouth and doesnt let go. (Cisneros 55)

This demonstrates how Esperanza is taken advantage of by an older man; he kisses her by force and this makes her wonder if all guys are like this, or at least wonders why he had done that. Also Esperanza goes through a similar situation where another guy who was younger takes advantage of her and rapes her; this impacted her way of thinking, Sally you lied. It wasnt what you said at all. What he did. Where he touched me. I didnt want it Sally. The way they said it, the way its supposed to be, all the storybooks and movies, why did you lie to me?. (99) This demonstrates that Esperanza is very disappointed in guys, love, and sex. She gets raped and that was not what she thought her first time would be like; she thought itd be like in the books and movies. These situations have a great impact on her point of view of love, guys, and life. This makes her more aware of things and she realizes things she never though of. She wonders if she is going to fit in her neighborhood after so long and if all guys she meets are going to be the same, putting her in a position of insecurity with her self and others as well.

There are times in life where some things might seem totally wrong to the eye, yet nobody seems to care and that makes it seem okay after all. There are some things that make Esperanza wonder about as a teenage girl; things that she thinks are somewhat wrong but also that it might not be bad after all because people seem to be okay with it. In this quote Esperanza experiences a mutual relationship between a guy and a girl who seem to have quite an age difference, all Esperanza can do is watch and she tries to take something out of it but she cant, I watch them. She holds his hand, and, he stops sometimes to tie her shoes. But mama says those kinds of girls; those girls are the ones that go into alleys. Lois who cant tie her shoes. Where does he take her? (73) This scene seems to put questions in Esperanzas head; she notices how old he is and how young she looks, almost like a pedophile doing things with a young girl, yet nobody seems to do anything about it as if they are second nature acts in the neighborhood. Things like this made Esperanza mature faster; this awoke a sexual desire in her. Other different experience she had that she knew was totally wrong was seeing her friend Sally get her self into the wrong situation. Sally is flirting with guys and she starts messing with the guys; Sally goes and hides to kiss the boys in order to get her keys back. Esperanza tries to stop it by going to Titos house where his mom was ironing a shirt and she lets her know what her son was doing; she was expecting his mom to say and do something about it but she didnt, Those kids, she said, not looking up from her ironing. Thats all? What do you want me to do, she said, call the cops? And kept ironing. (97) Here Esperanza seems to realize how bad her neighborhood has turned out to be and the reasons why its the way it is. She experiences loss of innocence here because she realizes that not everyone is going to be there all the time to save the people who she cares for.

Some things in life go unheard of; different situations may go on yet they are similar in many ways. Esperanza experienced loss of innocence in the story of Geraldo. She noticed how things around her go unheard of and how if no one talks nobody will know the truth. Here Esperanza explains how Geraldo had no identification or history and how there was nothing to do about it, No name. Nothing in his pockets. Aint it a shame. They never knew about the two-room flats and sleeping rooms he rented, the weekly money orders sent home, the currency ex-change how could they? (66) This demonstrates how people do not know what is going on around them and that is why they are being unheard of. Nobody decides to say anything about all the different bad situations. Geraldo is now unknown; nobody will know what ever happen to him as well as they will not know what is going on with her friend Sally, that is if she doesnt speak about it to someone. Esperanza experiences a situation in where she wished she could help yet she cant because she things she is too little to have a say, Sally gets beaten by her dad yet nobody seems to do anything about it. Once again, she grows up watching violence happen in her neighborhood in the place she grew up in. Esperanza experiences her own friend get beat up by her dad, He never hits me hard. She said her mama rubs hard on all the places where it hurts. Then at school shed say she fell. Thats where all the blue places come from. Thats why her skin is always scared (92) This scene in the novel demonstrates how Sally gets beaten and she doesnt tell anyone about it; Esperanzas loss of innocence here would be seeing this happen and her not being able to do anything about it because she is either scared of the situation or nobody will do anything about it.

Esperanzas remarkable experiences have shown her loss of innocence in mainly negative ways; all these events show how she changed her thoughts about how she might have thought it was like. When in reality life in Mango Street was totally different from what she expected it would have been. These different situations show Esperanza that life is not always going to have good experiences. It proves her thoughts wrong and thats mainly how Esperanza from Mango Street shows her loss of innocence. Some of these experience benefit her in a good way because she grow up knowing what the real world was like, she found this out faster then other kids but it really helped her mature into a young lady in Mango Street.

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