In this article, Laura Halperin reads Chicana writer Sandra Cisneros’s The House on Mango Street as a disidentificatory, revisionist, and intersectional collection of fairy tales. Halperin builds on critical scholarship about The House on Mango Street and fairy tales and inflects a U.S. Third World feminist analysis by examining how the narrative draws attention to the ways gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, and class are entwined. Rather than view the text as an outright rejection of the dubious premises and promises provided by fairy tales—individualist, (hetero)sexist, classist, and racist ones—she argues that the book references such tales at length to highlight their widespread power while also challenging their problematic ideologies. The simultaneous engagement with and contestation of these stories are what makes Cisneros’s text revisionist and disidentificatory, and Cisneros’s attention to the particular concerns faced by impoverished females of color makes the text intersectional. The two tales with which Cisneros most explicitly engages are “Cinderella” and “Rapunzel,” and the two central images in her collection are shoes and windows. The House on Mango Street also references other stories and rhymes, including “Little Red Riding Hood,” “Peter Pan,” “The Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe,” Alice in Wonderland, Through the Looking Glass, and The Little House, just as it invokes Mexican (American) folklore and Greek and Roman mythology. Cisneros’s mimetic repetition of these narratives underscores their pervasiveness and allure while critiquing the myths they advance.

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