• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

In the novella, The House on Mango Street, written by Sandra Cisneros, Cisneros uses the minor characters, namely, Geraldo and Alicia, to illustrate the themes of racial prejudice and gender roles.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The Role of Minor Characters in The House on Mango Street It is often that the smallest actions or decisions we make have the biggest impact on our lives. Likewise, in literature, minor characters often have important roles to play, either to convey a large theme or message, or to simply prove a point. In the novella, The House on Mango Street, written by Sandra Cisneros, Cisneros uses the minor characters, namely, Geraldo and Alicia, to illustrate the themes of racial prejudice and gender roles. In the vignette, titled "Geraldo No Last Name", Cisneros uses the minor character of Geraldo to portray the role of a minority race in the United Sates, specifically, the Spanish minority. Geraldo's character is involved in a hit and run and tragically dies at the hospital he is taken to. ...read more.

Middle

As a result, Geraldo's minor role in this novella as a minority race has depicted the reality of many people today who are in similar situations. Also, Cisneros has shown the social criticism of mainstream society's treatment of immigrants as dispensable and second-class human beings. In addition to racial prejudice, the theme of gender roles in a society is also explored in this novella through the minor character of Alicia. Alicia, introduced into this novella in the vignette titled, "Alicia Who Sees Mice", is characterized as a hard working girl that has dreams and aspirations to be more than just another Hispanic. However, she is trapped by her duties and role as the mother of her household, keeping her away from achieving her goals. ...read more.

Conclusion

By using the metaphor of the tortilla star, Cisneros is illustrating Alicia's duties as well as the fact that Alicia should not be up late at night to study but rather awake in the early morning to make breakfast for her family. Therefore, as a result, Cisneros uses Alicia's minor role to show how the gender of people in a Hispanic culture may influence the actions in which they can partake in. In conclusion, minor characters are included in the story for a reason. Each character has a purpose, large or small, that is symbolic or adds on to the story. Geraldo and Alicia, two very different characters, played their roles as minor characters to demonstrate the themes of racial prejudice and gender roles in society. Although their roles were very small, both characters successfully represented some of the most current issues we are facing in society today. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate World Literature section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate World Literature essays

  1. Racism in "The Tortilla Curtain". Racism in the Tortilla Curtain

    This makes Delaney angry because he feels that Candidio is polluting the environment by living down at the creek. Boyle writes "Delaney felt his guilt turn to anger, to outrage" (11). This is an important part of the story because this is when he first notices that illegal immigrants are living down in Topanga creek.

  2. Hedda Gabler- structure of the play and the major characters

    qualities in a woman defy social conventions and thus are liabilities to her. Hedda's manipulation of other people, her deceptiveness, and cruelness lead to her ultimate downfall, but these same qualities, some of which are identifiable in Judge Brack, make Brack successful simply because he is a man.

  1. Pride and Prejudice

    If the family was able to provide for her, she'd be sent to live with a governess, more commonly known as 'old maid' and we come across Elizabeth's sister, Lydia's comment "Jane will be quite an old maid soon, I declare.

  2. Frankenstein, although being fairly old, portrays many themes out of which Death and Isolation ...

    Victor feels extremely depressed as his youngest brother has died and returns to Geneva to mourn his brother's death with his family. Justine has been blamed for his death and her trial is in a couple of days. It is then that Victor realises that it is the being that he created that has taken his own brother's life.

  1. Difference in roles of female protaginists and how roles of minor charchters enhance their ...

    She was very dominating in nature and made sure that she married only the rich and famous men of the world. One of the reasons of Claire treating her husbands in such a disgraceful manner could be her past experiences with men.

  2. "House on Mango Street" by Sandra Cisneros response

    Also in Alicia & I Talking on Edna?s Steps shows the same feeling and desire. Esperanza doesn?t feel the house on mango street as her home, she is ashamed of it and doesn?t have a real house. She says it?s not her house.

  1. Female roles in Sir Gawain and The Green Knight

    Her identity and authority of herself are still dominated by male power. She needs to depend on her husband to prove her existing. Female action is restricted by men once again. The last female character revealed in the poem is Morgan, a powerful sorceress disguised in the body of an ugly old maid accompanying lady Bertilak in the castle.

  2. Treatment of escapism in A Street car named desire by Tennessee Williams ...

    This male dominated place is stinking and rotting in the eyes of Blanche, and she cannot put up with the way the men treat their wives. Thus the settings are important in that whatever hopes and prejudice Blanche had on her mind before coming here are shattered.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work