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House on Mango Street
The Effects of a Changing Society
Members of a society affect the social, cultural, and economic situation of an entire society by imposing what the majority perceives as normal on others. In my opinion, society can't change people. Whenever possible, people change themselves based on their perceived need to fit in. In this country, society is composed up individuals with cultural differences that does not make them less or inferior. However, the majority imposes what is standard for them as what should be standard for all others. Therefore, those that are not in the majority can be pressured into changing to blend in.
Some people are affected in a different way. For example, Esperanza , in "The House on Mango Street" felt out of place, but did not try too blend in. Instead, she was determined to dream about the way of life that she wanted. She uses all of her experiences with society as food to nourish her dream of someday having her own house. Esperanza was shy and too trusting. Rachel and Esperanza were walking down the street in high heels when they were about 11 years old, and they ran into a bum on the stoop of a tavern. At first they thought he was a nice guy but when they were talking to him for about 5 minutes they realized he was a little strange and he scared them so they left and ran away (P.39). This is another example of how shy Esperanza was. She stated in "The First Job": "When lunch time came I was scared to eat alone in the company lunchroom". This weakness allowed her to be gullible and vulnerable. In "Red Clowns", Esperanza is betrayed by Sally because Sally told Esperanza that the circus would be a fun experience, but instead she was raped. Esperanza's viewed herself as unattractive, unintelligent, insignificant and out of place. Such statements as, "?skinny necks and pointed elbows like mine?.do not belong here but are here?" provide evidence. She felt trapped on Mango Street, because she couldn't abandon those who could not leave. Although she was poor and shame, she became strong and clear about her destiny and did not turn her back on her heritage. She learned to celebrate her otherness instead of trying to blend in.
The character in "Yo Soy Chicano" that changes is David F. Gomez. David was raised in a mostly white , lower-middle class neighborhood in southwest Los Angeles. David first realized that mainstream society considered him inferior in kindergarten. When he entered school, it was predominantly white and the rest were either Mexican, black, or Oriental. All of the teachers were white. He was the only Hispanic in his class. David thought everything of value or importance in school was white and clean. White children called him 'dirty Mexicans' because his skin was brown. All he wanted was to become part of the white society. Instead, he was caught in the middle, alienated from his own people, including his parents and no matter how hard he tried, he was not accepted as equal by the whites. This had a destructive affect on him because he gave up his Mexican heritage to become part of white society but felt like an outsider to both worlds. By middle school, he still wanted to become part of the white society. There was a couple of Hispanics who wanted David to become part of their gang but he didn't want to. He chose to act and talk like the whites hoping they would invite him into their world. He was never invited. In high school, his best friend was Leo. Leo was a Chicano who helped David to see the importance of college. This was something that David's teachers had not done. Leo and David applied and were accepted into college. Leo later dropped out. David soon distanced himself from Leo. David treated him badly because he was no longer in college and he was a mirror image of David. In the end, David treated his best friend like the whites had treated him. (packet Yo Soy Chicano).
In our society, people come from all backgrounds bringing with them different cultures, social classes, and economic level. Family and culture are important parts of being. As individuals, people should embrace their ethnicity while respecting others that
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