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Carlos Munoz

2009 Research

Abstract: Breaching Gender Constraints: the Mestiza Heroína's Search for a Mestiza Consciousness in Sandra Cisneros‟s House on Mango Street

Mentor: Dr. W.W., English and Humanities at HU

In the novel House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros captures the remarkable journey of the Chicana who needs to create a space for herself within her culture and society. For instance, the traditional women characters believe they are not in control of the catalyst that initiates the events in their lives. Instead, many passively accept poverty and racism from the dominant society and endure the patriarchal oppression from the men in their lives, while surrendering their voices and choices to be considered good girls, wives, or mothers. However, the protagonist- Espéranza Cordero- disrupts the normalized gender role of women in her culture and society because she refuses to inherit her grandmother‟s rolling pin and silence. Therefore, this essay examines how the protagonist- Espéranza Cordero- breaches gender constraints and creates a self-defined space for herself that acts as a discourse of resistance to patriarchal traditions by using my provisional Mestiza heroína cycle definition based on the conflation of Joseph Campbell‟s elements of an epic hero cycle and Gloria Anzaldúa‟s mestiza consciousness that asserts Espéranza Cordero as a Mestiza heroína who breaches the traditional gender domains and creates a new space for women in heroic literature as heroínas.


13th Annual EWU Student Research and Creative Works Symposium, May 19, 2010:

National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies, 2009 Pacific NW FocoRegional Conference: Breaking BOrders, Building Bridges: Creating Communities through Chicana and Chicano Studies, October 30-31, 2009

Heritage University, Toppenish, WA, September 22, 2009

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