The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

October 18, 2017

The House on Mango Street is a book written by Sandra Cisneros. This book overall was very off-putting I did not like it at all. The sexual undertones are very off disgusting to me, it just made me feel disgusted. Also, it was very hard to understand, a lot of the book made very little sense unless you read it over and over again.

The House on Mango Street covers a year in the life of Esperanza, during the year the novel covers, she moves with her family into a house on Mango Street. The house is a huge improvement for Esperanza from the family’s previous apartment, and it is the first home her parents actually owned. However, the house is not what Esperanza had previously dreamed of. The house they live in is in the center of a crowded neighborhood in Chicago and the poorer areas of that city tend to be racially segregated. Esperanza does not have any privacy which she really dislikes, and her solution to that problem is that she will someday leave Mango Street probably when she gets to adulthood and have a house all to herself.

The novel charts her life as she makes friends, develops her first crush, and begins to write as a way of expressing herself and as a way to escape her neighborhood. The novel also includes the stories of many of Esperanza’s neighbors, giving a full picture of the neighborhood and showing the many possible paths and choices Esperanza may follow in the future. After moving to the house, Esperanza quickly makes friends with two girls named Lucy and Rachel who live across the street. Lucy, Rachel, Esperanza’s little sister Nenny, and Esperanza go on many adventures in their small neighborhood.

With the death of two of her grandfather and her Aunt Lupe, she gets closer to the world of adults. She begins to closely watch the women in her neighborhood. The second half of The House on Mango Street is made up of a long string of stories about older women in the neighborhood, all of them are even more stuck in their situations and in their houses than Esperanza is. Meanwhile, during the beginning of the following school year, Esperanza becomes friends with Sally. Sally uses boys and men as a way to escape from her abusive father. Esperanza is not completely comfortable with Sally’s choices with boys, and their friendship falls apart when Sally leaves Esperanza, and a group of boys sexually assault Esperanza in Sally’s absence.

This book overall was very strange I did not like it at all. The sexual nature of the book with Esperanza getting sexually assaulted, I just really did not like it. I would discourage anyone from reading it. The sexual undertones are very off-putting to me, that was one of the worst parts of the book, it just made me feel weird and uncomfortable. Also, it was very hard to understand, a lot of the book made very little sense unless you read it over and over again.






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