The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros, is a great book for teenagers and adults to read. Written in short vignettes, the book develops the childhood of a young Latina, Esperanza Cordero, who is trying to discover her identity to be able to live in the world around her.
The book starts off with Esperanza struggling to define herself. She desperately tries to escape the identity she was given by her family at birth. She says she wishes she could “baptize herself under a new name, a name more like the real me, the one nobody sees” (Cisneros 11). Since Esperanza doesn’t even know who she is herself yet, she tries to make up an identity for herself of who she thinks she should be like. One of her attempts is in the pursuits of trying to be like Sally, “the girl with eyes like Egypt and nylons the color of smoke” (Cisneros 81). However, she soon realizes she is nothing like Sally, and can’t force herself to be like her as much as she wanted to.
The plot of the story has obviously something important to do with the title of the book. Esperanza and her family have never really had a place to call home because they are constantly moving. The house on Mango Street is their first family house. Although it is a huge improvement from their previous apartments, it is not what Esperanza expected it to be. As the story goes on, Esperanza tells herself that someday she’ll leave Mango Street and have a house of her own that she has always dreamed of.
One of the things I admired about the book the most, was the author's way of writing it through the eyes of the young girl. Although this means having some parts undeveloped, I still enjoyed it for the fact that I could feel a connection with her. The author wrote the book in a very precise way so that you’re able to see yourself or connect to each small story in some type of way. No matter who you are or where you’re from, there’s a little something in it for everyone. I hope that anyone who reads this book, enjoys it as much I did.