The House on Mango Street written by the famous Mexican-American writer Sandra Cisneros is a rather interesting novel which develops the theme of human identity. The main character of the novel is a twelve years old girl whose name is Esperanza. She lives in the house on Mango Street in one of poor neighborhoods of Chicago where there are a lot of immigrants, but she is unhappy. She dreams of another house where her life will be absolutely different. The author shows the growing up process of the girl and her character formation. (Mesic, 1984)
The Lottery written by Shirley Jackson is a short story which tells about the brutal traditions of the society where a human life is worth nothing. The lottery which is held regularly in a small village of 300 inhabitants is an action of the incredible human brutality regarding the person who has got the black spot. He will be stoned to death by all the participants of this terrible action as a sacrifice. (Lonthem, 2007, p.5)
My goal in this essay is to compare and contrast the above mentioned literary works and to find some common and distinctive features in both of them.
In order to achieve this goal, it is necessary to compare not only the themes developed by the authors of the above mentioned literary works but also to compare main characters’ traits, time era described in the stories, the main characters’ principles and behavior, and the role of minor characters in both literary works.
Family Oriented Themes developed in the literary works
It is interesting to note that the authors of both literary works pay great attention to the family oriented themes in their literary works.
In the novel The House on Mango Street, the main character Esperanza moves from street to street with her family. She is dreaming of a good place to live. The house on Mango Street is too small and cramped for her large family which consists of several members. Family relations are on the first place in the novel. The author shows Esperanza’s family ”“ her father, a kind and responsible person who tries to do everything possible to feed his family spending days and nights at work; her mother, an intelligent woman who knows two languages but had no opportunity to get education at high school and find an appropriate job; her brothers Carlos and Kiki and her young sister Nenny.
Family relationships which are shown in the novel are based on mutual understanding and common goals. Esperanza takes care of her family. She wants her family to have their own house which will be give her family a lot of benefits such as absence of the rent payment, sharing with no neighbors. However, the girl is not satisfied with the house on Mango Street which did not correspond to the characteristics of their dream house with “a yard, running water, working pipes”¯ and so on. ( Cisneros, 1989, p.61)