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Shvoong Home>Books>The House on Mango Street (Linoleum Roses) Review

The House on Mango Street (Linoleum Roses)

Book Review   by:Alioma25     Original Author: Sandra Cisneros
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Sandra Cisneros’ short story “Linoleum Roses” talks about Sally, a very young and little girl who manages to escape her parents’ house and her family by getting married. She leaves school and studying so she can get married to an older man, a marshmallow salesman, whom she met at a school bazaar. They go to another state where it is legal for girls to get married before eighth grade. By getting married, Sally escaped her previous life. However, if we look carefully at Sally’s marriage and her relation with her husband as in the story, we would doubt that she is living freely.

While the author does not mention the reason that made Sally escape, Cisneros tells the readers that Sally likes the idea of being a married woman. She loves looking at the domestic objects that she and her husband own: “the towels and the toaster, the alarm clock and the drapes”. But she does not actually see the whole picture, which shows us that Sally herself is becoming one of these objects that are possessed by her husband.

Sally is also happy because of the fact that “now she gets to buy her own things”, but only when her husband gives her money. Although Sally claims to be happy in her new life with her husband, but the life that she is actually living

claims otherwise. Sally got married before eighth grade. This piece of information indicates a very significant aspect of Sally. Sally is a very young and an inexperienced teenage girl, who is still considered an immature person. She is “young and not ready”. Sally still does not have sufficient awareness to make such an important decision yet. She is simply having a dream about a sweet love story and an unreal and wrong image of marriage life.

Sally’s husband is a very cruel and strict man. He treats her like an object more than like a wife -or even a human being. The narrator emphasizes in the story that Sally is happy. But Sally’s happiness is dependent on her husband’s mood: “She is happy, except when sometimes her husband gets angry”, “she gets to buy her own things when her husband gives her money”, “nobody gets to visit her unless he is working”. Sally’s whole life is controlled by her husband. He gets angry quickly. He does not have control over himself when he becomes angry: “and once he broke the door where his foot went through”. So he is also a violent and aggressive person. Furthermore, he prevents Sally from talking on the telephone, looking out the window, or hosting her friends, because he does not like them. Sally stays at home “because she is afraid to go outside without his permission”, so she spends her time sitting at home, looking at the things they have and staring at the walls, corners, floor and ceiling of their house.

To conclude, Sally’s new life as a married woman does not have any atom of freedom. Her husband isolated her from the whole universe and he cut the connection between her and the outside world. What in fact happened is that

Sally escaped from her “first prison” by getting herself into another prison, a tighter one.

Published: October 02, 2013   
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