Books and Movies Reviews

Importance of the Monkey Garden in the House on Mango Street

Esperanza’s depiction of the serene and carefree descriptions of the garden contrast the confused and isturbed attitude Esperanza has towards Sally and the boys’ game. As she finally realizes she cannot remain a kid forever, Esperanza feel alienated and alone. Esperanza’s overwhelmed tone reveals her fear and doggedness to adversity when sally’s game defiles the garden’s innocence/purity, exposing Esperanza to the realization that she cannot remain a kid forever. Esperanza’s syntax reveals that innocence is irrevocable.

Reminiscing of the Monkey Garden Esperanza “suppose[s], the reason why [they] went there” was because it was “Far away from where [their] mothers could find (95). In the garden the kids were able to play without any adults around. The garden became a place of rejuvenation for Esperanza, where only kids were allowed and the horrors of the adult world remain unnoticed. Esperanza observes, “Things had a way of disappearing in the garden, as if the garden itself ate them, or, as if with its old-man memory, it put them away and forgot them. (95). This shows that the garden was a place where things easily went unnoticed and it was not uncommon to loose things. For Esperanza, this represents the place where she is forced into her loss of childhood, and omparing this to a forgetful old man makes sense since when people mature they loose their innocence and childlike attributes. When the boys stole Sally’s keys “they were all laughing” and “[Sally] was too” however, “It was a joke [Esperanza] didn’t get”(96).

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The boys take advantage of Sally by stealing her keys so Sally seizes the opportunity to be able to flirt back with them. Esperanza is the only one that doesn’t like the game, and to her it does not seem the least bit humorous or enjoyable. Once pure and carefree, the value of the garden and Esperanza escape is destroyed by sally and the boys’ rotten game. Esperanza’s point of view proves that although she would like to, she cannot avoid her inevitable progression into an adult.

Esperanza is unsure of what just happened and she “[doesn’t] know why, something inside [her] wanted to throw a Esperanza’s anger is at its peak and she is so worked up that her only way to relieve her anger is by the physical satisfaction of throwing a stick. Instead of being pragmatic about the situation Esperanza still gravitates toward childish ways of dealing with life and isn’t ready to grow up and use more self-possession. She does not know how to remain out of other people’s problems”. She thinks this kind of situation and all situations like it can be avoided.

Since the rumor was that ‘the Monkey Garden had been there before anything, Esperanza “liked to think the garden could hide things for thousands of The garden is used as a place to hide the useless items of neighbors as well as what Esperanza sees as a useless transition into adulthood. Since the garden could hide tangible objects Esperanza was convinced that it would also be able to protect her youth from expiring. innocence Esperanza’s diction shows her apprehension/diffidence for what she will become. In the garden, Esperanza otices the “flowers stopped obeying the little bricks”(95).

As time progresses the flowers become independent and choose their own path to grow, since they no longer have anyone to take care of them. Like Esperanza, who doesn’t want to quit playing the childish games, the flowers don’t allow anything hold them back from what they want to do. With only a tree to comfort her, “everything inside [hiccups]”(97) Esperanza lets go of her emotions. Like a hiccup, which cannot be controlled, everything inside Esperanza seems to jump involuntarily. She is startled by the current events and is scarred to think of what lies ahead.


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