[2015] Mackenzie Carlson: Literary Devices

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[2015] Mackenzie Carlson: Literary Devices

"I have begun my own quiet war. Simple. Sure. I am one who leaves the table like a man, without putting back the chair or picking up the plate."

"I have decided not to grow up tame like others who lay their necks on the threshold waiting for the ball and chain."

"In the movies there is always one with red red lips who is beautiful and cruel...Her power is her own. She will not give it away."

Literary Devices


Figurative Language


This quote uses symbolism, using one thing to mean something else, in its use of 'the ball and chain'. Ball and chain is often used as a term of restrictment, and here, Esperanza uses it to symbolize the restriction of people like her, and how she refuses to give in to it.

Cisneros uses strong figurative language here when describing Esperanza's idea of a strong, powerful woman that she'd liketo become. She uses imagerywhen describing the woman's lips as are a color that comes with power.

The repeated emphasis in this quote on thequiet and simplicity foreshadows plans thatare anything but. The fact that Esperanza choosesto use the word 'war' implies that she is not going downwithout a fight, which means that there is trouble upahead, one way or another.


When Esperanza describes herself as the man who leaveswithout picking up the plate, she doesn't really think ofherself as man refuses to help out with the dishes. Here, she's insinuating that she will take her life into her own hands without anybody else's permission, and she won't stop to worry over trivial things that could slow her or tie her down.

More on "the House on Mango Street" here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Pyf89VsNmg

Beautiful and Cruel


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