Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

The House On Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

The House On Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros is an excellent novel to be read by young and old. The House On Mango Street is a collection of vignettes centering on a young Latino girl growing up in Chicago. This girl's name is Esperanza and she is still learning who she really is and is yet to become.


In the first 4 vignettes, Esperanza describes her family, herself, and her not exactly ideal house on Mango Street. "It's small and red with tight steps in front and windows so small you'd think they were holding their breath." I thought that Esperanze was exaggerating a boit too much. When I began to read further I began to empathize Esperanza's sorrow as she continues, "Bricks are crumbling in places, and the front door is so swollen you have to push hard to get in. There is no front yard, only four little elms the city planted by the curb. Out back is a small garage for the car we don't own yet and a small yard that looks smaller between the two buildings on either side. There are stairs in our house, but they're ordinary hallway stairs, and the house has only one washroom. Everybody has to share a bedroom—Mama and Papa, Carlos and Kiki, me and Nenny". Imagine having a house with windows holding their breaths and having to drive the door out of its swollen state.


Another vignette, that I enjoyed was "Chanclas". Esperanza and her family had an invitation to go to her cousin's Baptism Party. When Mama got home that afternoon, Esperanza recieved a new dress for the reception. The only thing she didn't get was new shoes."I forgot" mama said. Sure, that's what they all say when they just don't want to buy anymore stuff. Uncle Nacho was coming too, when everyone arrived at the reception, all Esperanza did was try to stay seated in the chair and hide her shoes under it. A boy, probably a year older than Esperanza, asked her to dance. "No" she said, all she could think of was if everybody talked about her old and ragedy shoes. Uncle nach was the only person who got her to dance because they practiced their very own. "i drag my feet across the linoleum floor straight center where Uncle wants to show off the new dance we learned. And Uncle spins me, and my skinny arms bend the way he taught me, and my mother watches, my little cousins watch, and the boy who is my cousin by first communion watches, and everyone says, wow, who are those who dance like in the movies, until I forget that I am wearing only ordinary shoes." Of course, all you have to do is let go.


The last part I think that I liked was "Mango Says Goodbye Sometimes". Esperanza doesn't run away, instead she accepts her lifestyle and decides "one day, I will go away". I know not having your own place may seem like a burden but it's not all that it seems. Esperanza was mature enough to admit that she can wait for her grownup years.


I strongly urge you to read this novel by Sandra Cisneros. Once you start reading will depend on its lessons and morals. I know endeing the book will be troublesome but, "one day, you will have to say goodbye to Mango". 

Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

Site Feedback