“The Description For this assignment, you will respond to Sandra Cisneros’ book The House on Mango Street. You will need to integrate key portions of the book into your essay by either paraphrasing, summarizing or direct quoting from the text. In an organized essay, identify and examine the “ugl[y]” subjects Cisneros chooses to write from her experience with the men women and children in her community, subjects that do not respond to respectability politics. These are the subjects that one with an outsider’s perspective might use as proof of the community’s faults. Namely, subjects that might otherwise be viewed as proof of stereotypes or as too negative to open up to outsiders. 2. Analyze how Cisneros presents the pursuit of the American Dream in The House on Mango Street. Does she depict the American Dream as an attainable goal or does she suggest something else? If so, what does she propose? In this essay, you must first define the American Dream, formulate a thesis, then decide how your chosen examples support your position (your thesis). 3. Many read The House on Mango Street as a feminist novel: one that counters the notion men should dominate women. Do you agree? What does the novel say about the power relationship between women and girls and men and boys in this specific community? Begin by defining feminism and patriarchy and possibly including a real world example. Again, form a position in your thesis and support it throughout your essay with evidence from the text. 4. Physical safety is one recurring topic in the novel. In this essay, analyze how Cisneros presents the topic and whether or not she suggests the community is safe or unsafe. Does perspective play a role in one’s ideas about the level of safety in the community? Introduce your topic and take a position in your thesis paragraph.
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