In Cisneros' "House on Mango Street", diverse themes merge together to develop a seemingly simplistic scenario which tells the story of a young Hispanic girl. Esperanza, the narrator, is emerged in a society that is devastated by the horrors of class stratification and racial inequality. As she struggles to flourish in such chaos, Esperanza describes the daily lives of those around her. Through such stories the creation of a common trend is visible, this trend involves the portrayal of women's roles in society. Cisneros' ingenious usage of rhetoric allows her to embed subliminal messages that define the female figure and her actions. In the book, women are shown as societal puppets who are incapable of being self-dependent. The imprisonment and lack of self-efficacy attributed to women in the novel serve as a form of satire, meant to call out our attention and demand for change.
The characterization of women in the short vignettes is marked by the diminutive diction utilized by Cisneros. Women's physical appearance is miniaturized thus giving them "baby's feet", "tiny toes" and "baby skin". Their description is further developed with the aid of docile and delicate adjectives which only draws more attention to this list of degrading compliments. This emphasis is what Cisneros was aiming for and it is clear that she purposely associated the motherly figure with someone who has "candy circle, all curly and pretty" hair. Through Esperanza's words, Cisneros shows women's appearance in the eyes of society. Their appearance, highly idealized, sets up the status quo for what is expected from these individuals.
With the fragile portrayal of women that Cisneros creates she makes it seem like it is almost logical that these creatures are in need of "protection". In the novel,l they gain this benefit through their sacrifice of a self-identity and imprisonment. The women on Mango Street are bystanders, they spend their lives indoors and monitor the outside world through their windows and, unfortunately, this is something that is the cruel reality for many women.