The House on Mango Street
Women and Femininity Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
But my mother's hair, my mother's hair, like little rosettes, like little candy circles all curly and pretty because she pinned it in pincurls all day, sweet to put your nose into when she is holding you, holding you and you feel safe, is the warm smell of bread before you bake it, is the smell when she makes room for you on her side of the bed still warm with her skin, and you sleep near her, the rain outside falling and Papa snoring. (2.2)
This maternal image shows that Esperanza associates her mother with feelings of beauty and domesticity.
Her name is Marin or Maris or something like that, and she wears dark nylons all the time and lots of makeup she gets free from selling Avon. She can't come out – gotta baby-sit with Louie's sisters – but she stands in the doorway a lot, all the time singing (10.2)
Marin, Esperanza's neighbor, is dressed in all the trappings of femininity – makeup and sexy clothes. She's also confined to the house and in charge of taking care of the children – a traditionally feminine role.
She is the one who told us how Davey the Baby's sister got pregnant and what cream is best for taking off moustache hair and if you count the white flecks on your fingernails you can know how many boys are thinking of you and lots of other things I can't remember now. (11.3)
Marin becomes a source of feminine knowledge for Esperanza. They sit in the front yard and have girl talk – sharing the kind of information that only women know in this society.