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“A House I Could Point To” : Identity and Emancipation in Sandra Cisneros´s The House on Mango Street and A House of My Own



Rok publikování 2022
Druh Další prezentace na konferencích
Fakulta / Pracoviště MU

Filozofická fakulta

Popis Chicana writers often employ the genre of Kűnstlerroman, sometimes called the artist’s novel, in which they adjust the central idea of the genre to juxtapose the quest for personal self-development of an ethnically marginalised and gender-disadvantaged individual with not only the majority society but also their own community. Through a comparative analysis of Sandra Cisneros’s The House on Mango Street (1984), describing the feelings and observations of young Esperanza who longs to leave the barrio and become a writer, and the author’s autobiographical book A House of My Own (2015), the paper examines the house not only as a symbol of socioeconomic status but also its role in acculturation and emancipation. In the analysed texts, the double-edged symbol of a house as a site of both confinement and freedom serves as a metaphor for the construction of the identity of a Chicana writer. The paper elaborates on Joanna Richardson’s study on the performance of home and argues that the house not only reflects the identity, whether personal or cultural, but also creates and reshapes it. Through her disdain for the parental house and her desire to own her own one, Esperanza longs to escape her economically and ethnically marked otherness and expresses rebellion against the traditional patriarchal structure of Chicano/a society. “A house of my own” in Sandra Cisneros's autobiographical book, on the other hand, refers to Virginia Woolf and represents power and emancipation. The attention paid to the significance of a house in Cisneros’s texts thus constitutes an important contribution to the issues of privacy, free time, financial independence, and personal freedom for which Chicanas in the late 20th century yearn.
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