No Speak English is a short story of a woman d Mamacita and her husband, Esperanza, who has moved to the United States. This story discusses how the immigrants adapt themselves according to the changing environments (Verras, 2011). There are a number of difficulties that immigrants face as they leave their homes and reach a new land with new cultures, new languages, and new civilizations. The story basically highlights the language barriers that immigrants face in the United States. This story is the actual reflection of Sandra Cisneros (writer), who herself is Spanish (Angel, 2010, pp56-58).
Mamacita was nostalgic and used to sit by her window and listen to Spanish music. When she arrived at her new place in the USA, her husband had to literally push her off the Taxi as she did not want to go to the new place (Cisneros p69). As the place was new with English speaking people all-round, Mamacita seemed extremely horrified of speaking English. She even did not want her child to speak English but when her son uttered the words of the Pepsi commercial, her heart was broken (Cisneros p69).
She had an image of her house. It was pink, back in her hometown. Her husband tried his level best to make the new house look like their old house, but still, Mamacita’s mind could not accept it as her house. Just by canvassing the house pink could not make it her own home which she had to leave. She had spent a huge amount of time. Her parents had lived there and she had spent her early days. The house might look the same but the people around were different. They spoke, behaved and reacted differently to the situations.
The story exposes the language barriers as affecting people’s lives in two major manners; firstly, the situation of Mamacita as a jailbird for being reluctant to speak English and bear the comments of people outside her house. Secondly, the account of Esperanza’s father having Hammandeggs for three months due to his difficulty in learning and speaking English. The accounts seem unnoticeable as we read, however, the visualization of these instances makes things clearer. The mockery, sarcasm and disgrace one may face for not speaking a language before the native speakers affect the very idea of learning and getting fluent.
Cisneros, Sandra. The House on Mango Street. , 2011. Print.
Veras, Adriane Ferreira. “Language and Identity in Sandra Cisneros’s The House on Mango Street.”Universidade De Caxias Do Sul(UCS). Antares, n.d. Web. Retrieved on: 6 Feb 2013..
Angel, Ann. A Readers Guide to Sandra Cisneros’s the House on Mango Street. Berkeley Heights, NJ: Enslow Publishers, 2010. Print.