Publication Date

Summer 2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Rashidah J. Muhammad, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Christopher T. White, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Andrae Marak, Ph.D.


Having a dual identity is something that comes across in Sandra Cisneros’s The House on Mango Street. In this novella, the protagonist, Esperanza Cordero, tries to discover, create, and accept the complexity of her dual identity that is influence by her experiences with poverty, discrimination, classism, and gender expectations. Esperanza wants to overcome the oppression outside her community and the patriarchal society in her community by moving away from Mango Street and becoming a writer. She has to find a way to bridge the gap between both her American and Mexican identity. Through the character of Esperanza, Cisneros tells stories about the marginalized population that are seldom told. She depicts poverty, racism, and gender imposed expectations through the observations Esperanza makes about her community on Mango Street. All these issues affect Esperanza’s dual identity because she constantly struggles with both identities by side. The manner that other people perceive her contributes into the way she perceives both her American and Mexican identities.