The House on Mango Street
How we cite our quotes:
I want to be
like the waves on the sea,
like the clouds in the wind,
but I'm me.
One day I'll jump
Out of my skin.
I'll shake the sky
like a hundred violins. (23.14)
The poem that Esperanza reads to her Aunt Lupe is a simple and beautiful expression of how the young girl sees herself – right now she's trapped and itching to be free, but some day she'll explode into her full potential.
They are the only ones who understand me. I am the only one who understands them. Four skinny trees with skinny necks and pointy elbows like mine. Four who do not belong here but are here. (29.1)
Esperanza's personification of the trees outside her bedroom window is an expression of her loneliness. Not only does she feel she doesn't belong on Mango Street, but she feels like she's alone in feeling that way.
My mother says when I get older my dusty hair will settle and my blouse will learn to stay clean, but I have decided not to grow up tame like the others who lay their necks on the threshold waiting for the ball and chain. (35.3)
We're beginning to understand what it is that makes Esperanza feel so different from everyone else on Mango Street. For one thing, she's unwilling to conform to the expectations placed on her by her gender.