A Compare and Contrast Analysis of Sandra Cisneros' "The House on Mango Street" and Langston Hughes' "A Dream Deferred"

Essay by MavkaUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, September 2004

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In the short story "The House on Mango Street" Sandra Cisneros unfolds her childhood memories where she and her family struggled with poor living conditions on the way to their own house, and she seems to suffer from it more than anyone of the family. When one day they finally get the house of their own and her family seems to be ready to settle with it, she continues suffering because it's not the house she imagined and built up in her dreams. At that point Cisneros obtains her dream to be fulfilled: she decides that whatever happens, she must have her dream house. Whereas Cisneros talks about a dream's birth, Langston Hughes in his poem "A Dream Deferred" investigates the destiny of a dream. Predicting what could happen to a dream that is not yet realized, he tries to measure the impact of a dream in our life.

At first sight, these two works might seem completely different; however, upon a closer look it's obvious that they are closely connected: Cisneros tells us what led her to obtain a dream, whereas Hughes contemplates on continuation of a dream's existence.

In "The House on Mango Street" the author tells us how she found her dream. Her large family had to move all the time in search of a decent place to live. Experiencing what not having her own place is like, moving all the time and being ashamed of her shelters, Sandra Cisneros defines the features of the house of her dream. It has to be not just her own place to live, but also a place that she could be proud of. She describes her dream house: "inside it would have real stairs, not a hallway stairs, but stairs inside like the houses on TV";...