The House on Mango Street: Novel Summary: Linoleum Roses

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Summary
Esperanza reports that Sally has gotten married. "She says she is in love, but I think she did it to escape." Sally spends her days sitting at home, afraid to leave without her controlling husband's permission.
 
Analysis
This vignette offers us our last glimpse of Sally. Like Esperanza's great-grandmother, like Minerva, Sally is trapped-a virtual prisoner in her own home and in a loveless, abusive marriage (".sometimes her husband gets angry and once he broke the door."). Cisneros deftly uses imagery to suggest the gap between cherished hopes and harsh reality: Sally "likes looking at the walls. the linoleum roses on the floor, the ceiling smooth as wedding cake." The physical details in Sally's kitchen mirror the emotional realities with which Sally must now deal. Instead of real roses, a symbol of true love and beauty, she has linoleum ones, false and flat; instead of the promise of joy embodied in a wedding cake, she finds herself staring at a ceiling, a symbol of imposed limitation (as in the familiar phrase "glass ceiling"). Thus, readers have seen Sally undergo a change from a self-assured, beautiful young girl to a forlorn, trapped young woman. She emerges as another "negative role model" whose fate Esperanza is determined to avoid.

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