Thursday, November 30, 2006

For the ones who cannot out

I think the most important thing that I have learned from this class is the amount of privilege that I have. The idea that I am able to do so many different things if I wanted to, things that others, no matter how much they desired, would not be granted the opportunity to do these things. I am able to live here in Baltimore, three hours away from the neighborhood in which I grew up, and not worry about those left behind. I also have the ability to return whenever I want; I don’t need to accomplish anything for anyone before I return. The opportunities that are presented to me seem so amazing in comparison to the situation in The House on Mango Street.
This idea of opportunity and ability is something comes up very often in The House on Mango Street. From Esperanza’s desire to leave her barrio to the women that are stuck staring out the window of their houses, it seems that there are so many things that Esperanza is able to do that the others or not. And even Esperanza’s opportunities are limited. It seems that all she wants is to leave her little neighborhood; but, even this, she must wait for.
Esperanza works for her freedom. She writes her stories down which, as she mentions in “Born Bad”, is what will keep her free. She also is told that she will get the opportunity to leave her barrio, that she will not be stuck there. She continuously works for her freedom from her entrapment in her neighborhood.
However, even she is not truly trapped. For as is mentioned in “The Three Sisters”, she is able to leave this barrio; she will get the opportunity to escape. But she cannot forget those left behind, those who don’t have the opportunity to escape.
This is of the greatest importance. This is a very clear message that needs to be remembered, not only by Esperanza, but by all who are offered an opportunity. It should have been told to Obi when he left for England. It should have been mentioned to Marco Polo when he left on his journeys. It should have been told to the people on the boat as they floated across the Caribbean Sea in Krik? Krak!. We cannot forget those who do not have the opportunities that we have.
I have the opportunity to go downstairs and get food from Primos. There are men and women confined to their beds that must have people bring their food to them. I have the opportunity to go to a college and receive a very good education. There is a woman my age within less than fifty miles of here that has at least one child and will not get the opportunities that I have received. We must always realize this and never forget “those who cannot out”.