Sandra Cisneros The House On Mango Street Essay

Sandra Cisneros The House On Mango Street Essay-74
Bricks are crumbling in places, and the front door is so swollen you have to push hard to get in.There is no front yard, only four little elms the city planted by the curb.

Bricks are crumbling in places, and the front door is so swollen you have to push hard to get in.

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At the same time, the book’s strength as literature is that it tells the story of a unique girl in a unique place — a Mexican-American girl in the neighborhoods of Chicago whose life is focused not only on the changes in her body but also on her need to figure out how to maneuver in the broader world. [They’ll] move a little farther north from Mango Street, a little farther away every time people like us keep moving in. Before that we lived on Loomis on the third floor, and before that we lived on Keeler.

Esperanza lives in a community that is made up of newly arrived immigrants from Mexico and first-generation Americans, but also includes black and white people from such places as Texas, Kentucky, Tennessee and Puerto Rico. Before Keeler it was Paulina, and before that I can’t remember. Esperanza’s age is never given, but, from the text, it appears she’s about 12 or 13 at the start of the novel which covers the family’s first year in their house.

This is the story of Esperanza Cordero, and, at its heart, it is the story of every child who has gone through the very difficult transformation into becoming a teenager with all its excitement, fear, challenge and risk.

No wonder it’s read in so many high school classes. Then as if she forgot I just moved in, she says the neighborhood is getting bad….

They know them as family members and friends and just part of the landscape.

“All brown all around, we are safe.” It’s different, she notes, when her neighbors go elsewhere in the city.

“Neighborhood of roofs” Cisneros is cagy about the location of the house, keeping it vague.

Late in the novel, Esperanza gives its address as 4006 Mango. There is a Mango Avenue in Chicago, but no Mango Street. would be in the Portage Park neighborhood which, in the mid-1980s when this novel was published, was only about five percent Latino.

The descriptions in the vignettes of the growing Hispanic presence in the neighborhood would seem to suggest that the house is on the Near Southwest Side — 4006 S. Chicago’s Mango Avenue runs on through much of the Northwest Side, from North Avenue to Elston Avenue, three blocks west of Central Avenue. If, like many Chicago streets, Mango Avenue continued further south, a house at 4006 S.

Mango Avenue would be in the southwest suburb of Stickney. Although Cisneros has acknowledged that she plumbed her own life experience for her novel, the West Town community area where her family’s home was situated was solidly Hispanic (about 60 percent) during the 1980s.


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