“The House on Mango Street” Novel by Cisneros

Pages: 1
Words: 317

Sandra Cisneros’s The House on Mango Street explores several themes, one of which is belonging to a place, a home. The first passage that illustrates belonging is presented at the beginning of the novel as Esperanza describes her family’s new house, which is not what the children envisioned (Cisneros, 2011). The passage indicates that Esperanza knows what it is like not to own a home where one can feel free and safe and have access to such basics as washrooms with running water (Cisneros, 2011). The passage develops the theme by explaining that Esperanza is familiar with housing struggles and the inability to afford a pleasant space, but it also contributes to the larger meaning of finding oneself in the world. For instance, as the new house falls short of Esperanza’s expectations, she realizes her parents lied to her (Cisneros, 2011). As a result, Esperanza grows up feeling that she has to change her life to live better in another place.

Furthermore, Esperanza is aware that she is not wealthy and begins to be ashamed of it. In a passage in which her family is staring at a house on a hill, Esperanza states that she is tired of looking at something they cannot have (Cisneros, 2011). Esperanza knows that some people live in more pleasant conditions and wishes to be like them (Cisneros, 2011). The passage suggests changes in her personality, as Esperanza declares that she will have her own house but never forget where she comes from (Cisneros, 2011). A larger message the author is trying to communicate is how facing the challenges of living in need affects one’s identity. Esperanza meets multiple different characters and, throughout the novel, desires to belong to something or somewhere, and a house of her own becomes her dream (Cisneros, 2011). In having a place that would belong to her, Esperanza sees an opportunity to live unburdened and unrestricted.


Cisneros, S. (2011). The House on Mango Street. Vintage.