Alicia is a girl who has to do all the chores for her father and younger siblings because her mother died. She goes to college even though she has to travel a long time by train and bus to get there, because she doesn’t want to be stuck in a kitchen or factory her whole life. She stays up late studying and it is then that she sees the mice come out. Alicia’s father says the mice don’t exist, and that Alicia should be sleeping anyway, because it is a woman’s job to wake up early and make tortillas.
This section shows clearly the male-dominated society of Mango Street, and how difficult it will be for Esperanza to escape and achieve independence. Alicia seems very similar to Esperanza – she is trying to study so she can improve her life, but she is trapped by patriarchal traditions that require her to assume her dead mother’s duties, to act in the way and do the work that their society traditionally believes girls should..