House on Mango Street

Leaving Mango Behind

In Sandra Cisneros's The House on Mango Street, the narrator, Esperanza, recounts brief incidents and memories that shape who she becomes as she grows from a child into a young woman. From the beginning, her hope for the future is represented through her desire to have a nice house of her own. The same sentiment is echoed at the conclusion of the book, but Esperanza is no longer the same person. While she maintains her wish to get out of the neighborhood---to leave Mango Street behind---she acknowledges her attachment to the neighborhood and her duty to help those who are not as capable as she is. She cannot erase her past, as it is an essential part of who she is and who she is to become. Forced to encounter adult issues at a young age, Esperanza does not succumb to them as many characters in the book do. Instead, she is able to learn from her experiences, forming her own goals and maturing into a young woman shaped, but not held back, by the world in which she grows up.

In the opening chapter, Esperanza acknowledges how important it is for her one day to have a house she can be proud of. She is not content with the house on Mango Street, even though her family owns it. It is small and rundown, lacking the amenities she...

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