Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Wanting Out

Throughout House on Mango Street Esperenza's need to get out off of Mango Street and have that dream house is a pattern I've seen among the children of Baltimore. Whether it was in Lippman's novel or comments I've heard about the students at St. Ignatius from students in the classroom, or videos in class about Baltimore, Baltimore children do everything in their lives to achieve the goal of getting out of Baltimore. I read an article in the City Paper about a student run organization to over-throw the Maryland Board of Education and one of the students in the program stated he wanted to receive a good education to get out of Baltimore.

I see this pattern with Esperenza as well. She seems to want to escape everything that is Chicago and Mango Street. She doesn't fully accept everything that is part of her life on Mango Street whether it is her house, her family members, her friends, or the actions she takes while living on Mango Street. Her aunt even tells her to keep writing because it would set her free. I couldn't help but think while I was reading that section that the aunt meant that Esperenza's writing could take her to a life outside of Mango Street in Chicago. Because of the narrator's childish narration I couldn't tell whether or not he aunt meant it that way, or that Esperenza took it that way, but it seemed that the aunt thought her talent in writing could take her away from the fate of becoming the adults on Mango Street.

At the end of Mango Street Esperenza is a writer and she no longer lives on Mango Street, so for me it proved that writing did take her away from Mango Street and that was what her aunt meant or at least how Esperenza interpretted it. Esperenza was finally able to get out of Mango Street due to her education and her ability to write, much like the children of Baltimore hope to get a decent education that will give them the opportunity to leave the city if they choose to. Although Esperenza was given the opportunity to leave Mango Street and she had every ability to make her life however she wanted it to be, she still had that connection to Mango Street and the urge to go back to it. I wonder if the children of Baltimore will feel that way too. If they will ultimately leave if given the opportunity but realize their connection when they are not forced to stay in it anymore. In the end the freedom Esperenza aunt was talking about was the freedom to choose where one could live or be from to know whether they choose to stay where they grew up or go somewhere else it was based on their choice, not because they had to.