The House on Mango Street
How we cite our quotes:
The boys and girls live in separate worlds. The boys in their universe and we in ours. My brothers for example. They've got plenty to say to me and Nenny inside the house. But outside they can't be seen talking to girls. (3.1)
Divisions between gender are present among the characters in The House on Mango Street from a young age.
She was a horse woman too, born like me in the Chinese year of the horse – which is supposed to be bad luck if you're born female – but I think this is a Chinese lie because the Chinese, like the Mexicans, don't like their women strong. (4.2)
Even as a child, Esperanza questions gender roles. She also observes that gender roles are cultural.
She looked out the window her whole life, the way so many women sit their sadness on an elbow […] Esperanza. I have inherited her name, but I don't want to inherit her place by the window. (4.4)
Esperanza's great-grandmother is the first female character that we see positioned by the window in this novel.