Josh ConklinMrs. WIngate Hon. English 14023 January 2018 Role models are essential in the lives of all ambitious people. Role models help us to achieve success by not only sharing their knowledge and past experiences, but also modeling the image of success that one can look up to. Role models can affect somebody in a negative, or positive way; there are so many role models people do not realize. In the novel The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros, the main character, Esperanza has a variety of female role models in her life. Many are trapped in abusive relationships, waiting for others to change their lives. Some are actively trying to change things on their own. Through these woman and Esperanza’s reaction to them, Cisneros shows not only the hardships women face, but also explores their power to overcome them. An early role model of Esperanza is Sally. Esperanza describes Sally as ” A girl with eyes like Egypt, and nylons the color of smoke”(81), she also describes her beauty as ” The boys at school think she is beautiful”(81), and ” Her father says to be this beautiful is trouble”(81). Sally also faces adversity with abuse from her father and husband. Sally suffers abuse from her father, “He never hits me hard. She said her mama rubs hard on all the places where it hurts. Then at school she would say she fell”(92), “Until one day Sally’s father catches her talking to a boy and the next day she does not come to school”(93). The aggressive over-reaction of her father can be violently harmful to Sally mentally and physically. Sally also endures abuse from her husband. “Except he will not let her talk on the telephone. And he does not let her look out the windows”(102). Sally is so afraid of losing this ideal lifestyle that she will not live life to the fullest. Another role model for Esperanza is Rafael, who as similar to Sally, gets abused by her husband. Rafael is a role model for Esperanza in terms of beauty, “She is too beautiful to look at”(81). Esperanza wants to be a beautiful girl with great success, so she looks upon people with these traits as role models. Rafael gets abused and neglected by her husband “On Tuesdays Rafael’s husband comes home late because that is the night he plays dominoes. And then Rafael, who is still young, but getting old from leaning out the window too much, gets locked inside because her husband is afraid Rafael will run away”(79). Because the husband of Rafael does not trust her, Rafael is trapped in her own world ruled by her husband. Esperanza realizes the harsh reality of this lifestyle, and decides she does not want to be like Rafael.Alicia has been a role model for Esperanza, but has not suffered any abuse from a man. Alicia is trying actively to get out of Mango Street without marrying rich and being trapped. “(Alicia) is young and smart and studies for the first time at university because she does not want to spend the rest of her life in a factory or behind a rolling pin”(32). Alicia is a good role model for people who want to actively try to get out of Mango Street, not wait and marry rich. This has a strong influence on Esperanza, who desperately wants to get out of Mango Street with hard work. She uses the expression, “Two trains and a bus”(31), showing how long it could take to reach prosperity. Through the many role models Esperanza has, some are leading her in the right direction, while others are leading her in the wrong. Alicia is leading her in the right direction because she is showing Esperanza how to work hard and get out of Mango Street without any abusive relationships, while Sally and Rafael are poor influences because they are pointing her toward marrying rich and showing off for the boys. When Esperanza sees this, she will figure out what kind of person she wants to be in life. She does not want to be trapped in abusive relationships, she wants to be free and do whatever she wants.Works Cited:Cisneros, Sandra. The House on Mango Street. Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 2015.