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The Monkey Garden Symbolism in the House on Mango Street

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    The Monkey Garden

    When did Cisneros and her friends take over “the garden”, and what were some of its distinctive features? List a few of the details she provides to give readers a visual picture of “the garden”.
    The garden somehow eluded a sense of magic towards the people. There were instances when things would magically disappear in the garden. The ambience of the garden was also something to be grasped at. The flowers and the insects that lived in the garden were a sight to behold. The bees were like acrobats that showed the visitors the beauty of the garden. The apples were green in color and were harder than the usual ones. The sunflowers were colorful, and were bigger than the usual. From everything that was seen in the garden, it was evident that anyone would trade places just to live in the garden.

    Occasionally, Cisneros omits the use of conventional punctuation marks (especially quotation marks around dialogue) in her memoir. To what extent does her omission of recognizable symbols which guide a reader affect the coherence and over all readability of the piece?
    The readers are given an impression that the author wants to share her sentiments and the visuals that made the author yearn for more of the “garden”. Unfortunately, omitting some of the symbols would cause confusion on the side of the readers. In order to fully comprehend the text, the readers should become aware of the words used, and the different symbolisms used.

     What situation came about making Cisneros feel “angry inside” and how did she deal with it?
    Cisneros was still playful regardless of her age. She would prefer to spend time with the children, and play with them as much as possible. For this action, she was reprimanded. Sally told her that she had to act her age and stop playing with the children. It was as if she was being too comfortable with the life she was living. Although she was playful, she realized that she had to move forward and act the way people her age would. In the text, it was stated that there were things that she wanted to run away from; the use of comprehensive words were used to describe the particular feeling she had at that time.

    At the end of her memoir, Cisneros feel she had to run away and hide in the jungle part of the garden. Why did she want her “blood to stop” and her “heart to quit its pumping?”
    Cisneros wanted to make her readers feel that regardless of everything that has happened in her life, there were things that she cannot endure in life. Like any other individual, she had the opportunity to smile and be thankful about things, and also get hurt. Her metaphors in the end of the text was a clear manifestation of her being a normal individual, who was hurt, and did not know what to do. Through her words, she was able to show readers a personal side that she wanted to send across.

    Games are mentioned throughout this essay-games played by children as well as games played by adolescents. How do these games relate to the development or maintenance of individual identity?
    The games mentioned in the text were manifestations of how any individual could be as carefree as they can. Regardless of how people mature, and how old they may be, there were things in their lives that would make them break down and cry. No one is perfect, and each everyone of us would eventually cry like babies.


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    The Monkey Garden Symbolism in the House on Mango Street. (2017, Feb 19). Retrieved from

    Frequently Asked Questions

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    What does the monkey symbolize in the monkey garden?
    The monkey represents youth and innocence and the people that left with the monkey represented the narrator 's friends. Sally acted like a grown up adult, and the narrator was still stuck in her youth.
    Why is the monkey garden important to Esperanza?
    The garden became a place of rejuvenation for Esperanza, where only kids were allowed and the horrors of the adult world remain unnoticed. Esperanza observes, "Things had a way of disappearing in the garden, as if the garden itself ate them, or, as if with its old-man memory, it put them away and forgot them."(95).

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