Analytical Essay

Analytical Essay
University of Phoenix

      At first glance, the stories “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place” by Ernest Hemingway and “The House on Mango Street” by Sandra Cisneros have seemingly little in common.
“A Clean, Well-Lighted Place” centers on a conversation between two waiters in a small café discussing an old man staying late to drink (and later focuses on the elder waiter’s inner monologue with himself), while “The House on Mango Street” centers on the desires and observations of a young girl whose family has moved repeatedly over the years. The primary similarity between these two stories is the theme of innocence and experience, although both stories take different approaches to this theme. More specifically, both stories share the similarity of centering on the idea of gaining perspective through experience and losing the idealization or simplicity of innocence.
      The narrator in “The House on Mango Street” is a young girl who desires to live in a house she can be proud of. During the short story, she describes the buildings her family has lived in over the years and how the condition of the current house they reside in contrasts from the idealized house her parents have always claimed the family would one day call home. The narrator’s perspective of her situation is clearly changing through her growing awareness of the disparities between the ideal house her parents have painted her a picture of and the reality of the buildings her family has passed through over the years.
      This awakening change in her perspective is made particularly evident in the last paragraph of the short story:   “I knew then I had to have a house. A real house, one I could point to. But this isn’t it. The house on Mango Street isn’t it. For the time being, Mama said. Temporary, said Papa. But I know how these things go” (Abcarian and Klotz, 2007, p. 128). Her statement that she knows “how these things go” (Abcarian and Klotz, 2007, p. 128) seems indicative of her...