In the novel the House on Mango Street, Esperanza is a young girl experiencing a lot of hardships and looking for a place to fit in but she also wants to be beautiful. This becomes complicated as Esperanza becomes more sexually aware. Throughout the novel, The Author Sandra Cisneros argues the importance of beauty and how Esperanza’s deals with beauty as a part of her identify. When Esperanza meets Sally a new friend, Esperanza’s whole world turns up side down. Her views on beauty changed from a positive outlook to a negative one by watching how beauty has damaged Sally’s life. Esperanza has low self-esteem, she says, “ I am an ugly daughter, I am the one nobody comes for”. This quote helps support the argument of beauty and her identity because it describes why Esperanza is drawn back form associating with boys. She feels that “ugly” girls are not necessarily what boys are looking for. Esperanza see’s her self as unattractive and unimportant. This becomes apparent in the chapter “Four skinny teens”. This chapter shows how Esperanza feels about her appearance. She views herself as someone out of place just like the trees outside her house. Unlike the other girls at school Esperanza is not getting a whole lot of attention form any of the boys at school. Which leads to why she feels left out and unattractive. Esperanza feels like the trees are the only who understand her, because she is unable to relate to the beautiful girls. Esperanza, like many teens have low self-confidence but yet want to be noticed, beautiful and understood.
The characters Marin and Sally are used to portray Esperanza’s admiration of sexual confidence and beauty. Esperanza admire Marin because she is older and beautiful. Just like Esperanza Marin wants to get away from Mango Street and take responsibility and control of her own life. Marin uses her beauty to get away. Marin has a boyfriend whom she wants to marry and if things don’t work out she will work downtown and wear and own expensive things in hope to finding a man who can take care of her. Even though Esperanza wants to break free on her own she sees the power of beauty can have on someone’s life and it can be the ticket out of Mango Street. This explains how beauty can be used for the wrong things. It has become a tool that many people use in life today. When Esperanza meets Sally who is beautiful, she doesn’t just want to be Sally’s friend she want to be just like her in every way. She wants to get attention Sally gets from everyone especially the boys. Cisneros use the quote “ The boys at school think she is beautiful because her hair is shinny black like a ravens feather and when she laughs she flicks her hair back like a satin shawl over her shoulders and laugh” to express how obsessed Esperanza has become with Sally. She wants to wear the same cloths and do her make up just like sally. This obsession shows