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"As safe as houses" is a common expression, as is "a man's home is his castle," and "the American Dream of home ownership." Houses are viewed as extensions of the self.However, in the House on Mango Street, the narrator Esperanza does not live in a house that she feels is truly her own, although her family has recently bought the crumbling, peeling structure.
Esperanza even sees popcorn in the sky, Darius sees God -- the imagination dictates reality when looking at the clouds.
Reaching for the heavens is symbolized by clouds -- but it is important to remember in the myth of "Daedalus and Icarus" while Icarus, wearing wax wings, flew too close to the clouds, burned off his wings and fell to his death.
At the beginning of the tale Papa and Mama have acquired a new house on Mango Street after telling their children many stories about the glories of owning a home.
After the landlord at their old apartment drove them out, the family decided to realize their dream, an American Dream, but Esperanza says the new house is not like houses on television.
Symbolism and Cisneros' the House on Mango Street Perhaps the most important symbol in Sandra Cisneros' the House on Mango Street is that of the house itself, and houses in general.
Houses have a profound symbolic value in our culture, specifically American culture.Her cousin Marin also wants to be spirited away to a big house, far off from Mango Street.But instead of trying to change her own life, Marin is always waiting, and her dreams are never fulfilled.The family has lived in many rented homes and apartments before, but never a place of its own.This past, chronicled in the first chapter, symbolizes the transient nature of their lives, and the instability of the American Dream for this Chicano family.Like the family, the house does not look like what is seen on television -- it is not white and it is not inhabited by a white family.The house has peeling paint, no yard, and not enough bathrooms for all of the six family members, it is old and it smells.When Esperanza is with her friends, they name the clouds, showing their imagination and the many possibilities that are possible for children to envision, when they still believe that the sky is the limit in terms of their ambitions.At one point in the novel, Esperanza says she will "shake the sky, like a hundred violins." The sky and the clouds are always changing, shifting, and when things are bad for a moment, they can rapidly become better, so the clouds and the sky are evidence of possibility and leaving the confines of class, gender, and Mango Street entirely.The prejudices motivating this decision to move are obvious.The narrator's unstable and unrepaired house on Mango Street thus represents a work in progress, like the adolescent narrator's character, like the American Dream itself for Latinos.