The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros is a novel published in 1984 and features a young Latina girl named Esperanza Cordero who has to deal with problems such as poverty and being lonely. I believe this is a good book for any type of audience, especially those who can relate to Esperanza’s struggles. What I enjoyed the most about this book was the plot, the characters, and the themes expressed.
The plot of this story is mainly based on Esperanza’s childhood and how she matures throughout the different events in the story that have a significant impact on her. One of the most important events in the story happens during the beginning on the story. The novel begins with Esperanza’s family moving into their first house ever which is on the fictional Mango Street in the Latino section of Chicago. Esperanza feels a sense of poverty by living in this house which she is ashamed of. She is not only ashamed of the house but also her appearance. She struggles with self-consciousness and a search for her identity.
The main character in The House on Mango Street is Esperanza and there are several other characters that have an impact on her or on the story’s plot. Rachel and Lucy, Esperanza’s best friends, live across the street from her but they eventually get replaced by Sally which is not a very good friend to Esperanza. Sally is a bad role model to her as she is sexually active and usually abandons her for boys. Other characters include Nenny which is Esperanza’s younger sister, Alicia who is a positive role model for Esperanza, and Cathy who is her very first friend in the neighborhood.
The most significant themes revealed throughout the story include Identity, Dreams and Hope, Society and Class, Innocence, Gender, Family, and Friendship. Esperanza has to deal with a different aspect of each of these themes in order to grow up and mature.
To conclude, The House on Mango Street is a great book for any type of audience and I would recommend it to anyone having difficulties in life that relate to a search of Identity or self-consciousness.