House on Mango Street

How is the house on mango street different from the one the narrator had hoped for?

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This new house on Mango street is the first the family has owned. The narrator observes the benefits of having a home of one's own, namely the absence of rent, sharing with neighbors, or minding the landlord. However, she is quick to point out that "it's not the house we thought we'd get." The house on Mango street is far away from her old neighborhood; it was bought with haste and necessity when the family's old landlord refused to repair the water pipes. Thus, the narrator expresses her dissatisfaction that her parents promise to one day move into a real house was not fulfilled in on Mango Street.

The narrator ironically contrasts she and her parents' dream with harsh reality. The dream house would be theirs permanently, and would boast running water, working pipes, real stairs "like the houses on T.V.", a basement and enough washrooms to accommodate the large family. The yard was also worthy of Papa's lottery ticket and Mama's bedtime stories: the traditional white exterior and a big, unfenced yard with trees. What the narrator sees is contrary to everything her parents said; her house is tiny, crumbling, and without a yard.