The House on Mango Street
by Sandra Cisneros
The House on Mango Street Foreignness and 'The Other' Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
His name was Geraldo. And his home is in another country. The ones he left behind are far away, will wonder, shrug, remember. Geraldo – he went north…we never heard from him again. (25.9)
Foreignness, and the experience of exile, is portrayed as a dangerous status in this story. The foreigner is in a precarious position – he's unable even to guarantee the preservation of his own identity, or that anyone will know what happened to him when he dies.
The man saved his money to bring her here. He saved and saved because she was alone with the baby boy in that country. He worked two jobs. He came home late and he left early. Every day. (30.2)
The experience of foreignness and exile motivates Esperanza's neighbor to work extremely hard so that he can be reunited with his family.
I believe she doesn't come out because she is afraid to speak English, and maybe this is so since she only knows eight words. She knows to say: He not here for when the landlord comes, No speak English if anybody else comes, and Holy smokes. (30.6)
For Mamacita, foreignness is an isolating experience. Her inability to communicate with people in her community is the ultimate expression of her foreignness.