This ismost likely due to the intimidation these people pose. For example, in thevignettes “The First Job” and “A Rice Sandwich” Esperanza is too shy toeat with her other co-workers and peers, as shown in the following quotationfrom “The First Job”: “When lunch time came I was scared to eat alone inthe company lunchroom”. Another dominant feature in Esperanza’s personalityis the trust she has in others. This is one of Esperanza’s weaknesses as anindividual because it allows her to be gullible and vulnerable.
In ?CathyQueen of Cats’ Esperanza’s gullibility is obvious when Cathy tells Esperanzathat “. . . father will have to fly to France one day and findher.
. . cousin. . . and inherit the family house.
How do I know this is so? She toldme so. “. Another error in trusting others is that Esperanza is susceptible tobetrayal. In ?Red Clowns’ Esperanza is betrayed by Sally because Sally toldEsperanza that the circus would be a fun experience, but instead she was raped. Esperanza blames Sally, the magazines, and the movies for lying to her about thecircus. Esperanza is a very idealistic person.
She assumes everything is prettyand fun, but when she finds out the acrimonious reality of life she becomesdisappointed and deems herself stupid for not knowing better. Unbeknownst toEsperanza, her naiveté and inexperience is normal. For example, in?Gil’s Furniture Bought & Sold’ Esperanza assumes that a music box is”. . .
a pretty box with flowers painted on it, with a ballerina inside. . . ” butwhen it’s revealed to her that a music box is just “. .
. a wood box that’sold and got a big brass record in it with holes” she feels ashamed she did notknow better. Despite her low self-esteem she still keeps hold of her dream ofacquiring “A house all my own. “. Esperanza’s perception of herself doesnot mirror who she really is. She views herself as unattractive, unintelligent,insignificant and out of place.
Such statements as, “. . . skinny necks andpointed elbows like mine.
. . . do not belong here but are here. . .
” provideevidence. In ?Four Skinny Trees’ Esperanza describes the four trees outsideher house as how she sees herself; how she has not found her place in the world. Esperanza, like the trees, is trapped. While Esperanza is trapped on MangoStreet, the trees are trapped in concrete. The quotation from “Four SkinnyTrees” illustrates an optimism despite the limitations.
“Four who grewdespite concrete. Four who reach and do not forget to reach. ” The desire toleave Mango Street is the desire to lay new roots. There is an optimism which isinconsistent with Esperanza’s negative self image. Esperanza’s poverty actsas a physical obstacle from leaving Mango Street, but it does not prevent herfrom creating dreams and desires.
On Mango Street Esperanza lives in adilapidated, tiny house; a house with “bricks . . . crumbling in places. .
. “”Everybody has to share a bedroom. . . ” From this poverty was bornEsperanza’s dream.
“I knew then I had to have a house. A real house. “Although her dream is to live in a house “with trees around it, a great bigyard, and grass growing without a fence,” Esperanza does not plan to abandonthose who cannot leave Mango Street. “They will not know I have gone away tocome back. For the ones I left behind. ” Esperanza maintains a commitment toher roots on Mango Street.
At the outset of The House on Mango Street, Esperanzais presented as a shy girl with low self esteem. As the book progresses sheappears to become increasingly strong, and clear about her destiny. Her optimismprevails.