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The House on Mango Street by Cisneros and a Hemingway story

Ideas for an analytical essay comparing and contrasting The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros and A Clean, Well-Lighted Place by Ernest Hemingway are generated.


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As you compare and contrast the two pieces, I think that you could compare how both Hemingway in "A Clean, Well-Lighted Place" and Cisneros in House on Mango Street (please underline or italicize the title of the book since this page does not offer it) employ themes of finding peace in life and within oneself. As the characters in both stories struggle to find peace, they also encounter themes of alienation and despair.

First, Hemingway exposes this quest for peace within the title. He seems to show the effects that time plays in man's search for peace (http://faculty.ccc.edu/colleges/wright/greatbooks/Program/Symposm/Issue1/Brown.htm).
Likewise, you might also connect how Cisneros' title, too, shows a desire for peace with her connotations of home. Since homes offer a place of refuge and tranquility, you might compare them in this manner and journey for solace in the novel.

As you also discuss and connect themes of despair in both works, please note how Hemingway's story definitely conforms to a sense of hopelessness in his tone and theme. When the character admits, "I am of those who like to stay late at the cafe. With all those who do not want to go to bed. With all those who need a light for the night" (382), he reveals this sense of alienation in life.

Similarly, you might look at how Cisneros' characters also struggle with alienation from society due to race and socioeconomic class issues. You can use the "Marin" excerpt or any other to justify. Because of the characters' Mexican and often immigrant heritages and statuses, you might also parallel how they, too, experience this sense of alienation.

You can also use quotes from both texts to show despair. To illustrate, Hemingway says, "It was all a nothing and a man was nothing too. It was only that and light was all it needed and a certain cleanness and order. Some lived in it and never felt it but he knew it was nada y pues nada y nada y pues nada" (383). Hemingway even uses despair outright when the waiter talks about the suicide attempt of another as "He was in despair" (379).

Although I do not ...

Solution Summary

The House on Mango Street by Cisneros and a Hemingway story are the focal topics.