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Notes on The House on Mango Street Themes

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The House on Mango Street Topic Tracking: Sexuality

Sexuality 1: Marin is one of Esperanza's first female friends of impression. She sells makeup for Avon and is the girlfriend of neighbor Louie. However, Marin holds the reputation of a bad girl, because of her loose sexuality and cigarettes. At this point, however, Esperanza still looks up to her, despite her company of men.

Sexuality 2: A small change such as high-heeled women's shoes can transform a little girl into a vibrant young woman that reeks of sexuality and sensuality. When Esperanza and her friends walk around in the shoes, they legs are elongated like a woman's and men taunt them. Men make comments and try to kiss them, all because of their blooming sexuality evident by the shoes.

Sexuality 3: When the girls discover their new hips, they become so excited, for they realize that they are now women - women who can give birth. The women they are becoming are women who can attract men and eventually become involved in sensual activities.

Sexuality 4: When Esperanza goes to her first job, she is thrown into a new world. She escapes in the coatroom and finds a man who simply wants her for sexual reasons. He tries to kiss her and does not let go. This is one of Esperanza's first uncomfortable experiences with romance and sexuality.

Sexuality 5: Esperanza looks to Sire and his girlfriend Lois with awe. She longs to be held and touched as a woman, the same way Sire touches Lois. She realizes she is growing up and is ready to enter womanhood. However, her mother warns her not to turn out like the type of girl that Lois is.

Sexuality 6: When Esperanza sees Sally agreeing to kiss all the boys, she runs to get help. And when nobody will help her, the other boys taunt her and then have their way with her. This introduction to her own sexuality is not what she had always dreamed about. While Sally seems to like the sexual attention, Esperanza feels uncomfortable and ugly with it.

Sexuality 7: Esperanza is hurt, angry, and frustrated. Her visions of sex come from books and movies, and her first experience was vicious and invasive. She equates the laughing boys with the red clowns at the carnival.

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