The house on mango street about
The House on Mango Street by Sandra CisnerosAcclaimed by critics, beloved by readers of all ages, taught everywhere from inner-city grade schools to universities across the country, and translated all over the world, The House on Mango Street is the remarkable story of Esperanza Cordero.
Told in a series of vignettes – sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes deeply joyous–it is the story of a young Latina girl growing up in Chicago, inventing for herself who and what she will become. Few other books in our time have touched so many readers.
The House on Mango Street
It is written from the perspective of teenage Latina Esperanza Cordero, who struggles with her life in a Chicano and Puerto Rican neighborhood of Chicago. Esperanza wishes to escape her impoverished life in her small red house on Mango Street to then return one day to rescue her loved ones as well. The novel combines old Mexican traditions with modern American customs and explores the plight of marginalized Latinos struggling to survive in a dominantly white country. The book has earned many awards and accolades, and is considered to be a modern classic of Chicana literature. Because the novel deals with controversial subject matter and has become a staple of young adult academia, it has been banned from many schools and has faced a lot of criticism.
On a series of vignettes, The House on Mango Street covers a year in the life of Esperanza, a Chicana Mexican-American girl , who is about twelve years old when the novel begins. During the year, she moves with her family into a house on Mango Street. However, the house is not what Esperanza has dreamed of, because it is run-down and small. The house is in the center of a crowded Latino neighborhood in Chicago, a city where many of the poor areas are racially segregated. Esperanza does not have any privacy, and she resolves that she will someday leave Mango Street and have a house all her own. Esperanza matures significantly during the year, both sexually and emotionally. The novel charts her life as she makes friends, grows hips, develops her first crush, endures sexual assault, and begins to write as a way of expressing herself and as a way to escape the neighborhood.
The House on Mango Street is a deceptive work. It is narrated in the voice of a young girl—a girl too young to know that no one may ever hear her—but whose voice is completely convincing, because it is the creation of a mature and sophisticated writer. But this apparent randomness disguises an artful exploration of themes of individual identity and communal loyalty, estrangement and loss, escape and return, the lure of romance and the dead end of sexual inequality and oppression. The House on Mango Street is also a book about a culture—that of Chicanos, or Mexican-Americans—that has long been veiled by demeaning stereotypes and afflicted by internal ambivalence. But unlike Americans of Slavic or Jewish ancestry, Chicanos have been systematically excluded from the American mainstream in ways that suggest the disenfranchisement of African-Americans. Although Cisneros uses language as a recurring metaphor for the gulf between Mexican-Americans and the majority culture, what keeps Esperanza Cordero and her family and friends locked in their barrio is something more obdurate than language: a confluence of racism, poverty, and shame. It may help your discussion to remind students that the ancestors of many Chicanos did not come to the United States by choice, but simply found themselves in alien territory as a result of the U.
The novella The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros features a series of short chapters told from the first-person point of view of Esperanza, a young teenage girl. She moves to the house on Mango Street in Chicago with her family, but she doesn't like it. The house is run-down and small in a poor neighborhood. Esperanza tracks her experiences over a year of living in that house. Not an attractive girl, Esperanza never receives the attention from men that some of her friends receive. She describes time spent with her sister, Nenny, such as when they paraded around the neighborhood in high heels one day with their friends Rachel and Lucy.