The House on Mango Street

Sandra Cisneros

Summary

The short story begins with the narrator, Esperanza, talking about the places her and her family lived before they moved to Mango Street. She talks about a few of the memorable experiences at some of the places.

She also talks about the house that her parents dream of living in one day. The house that they dream of would have “real stairs”, “three washrooms”, and “pipes that worked.” It would also have a large yard and trees around it. The house on Mango Street had a very small yard with “four little elms that the city planted by the curb.” In this story Esperanza describes the places they lived, the place they live in now, and the place they dream of living in one day.

Themes

The notion of home:

Esperanza feels that it is important to have a home she can be proud of and not one where people comment in disgust “That’s where you live?”


Society and class: The condition of the houses that her family has lived in, in the past show that her family is lower class and not held high in society. The way that people treat them also shows their place in society.

Why you should read "The House on Mango Street"

This story is short, sweet, and to the point. It has great examples of symbolism and uses themes that can relate to every-day life. It is easy to read, but also well-written.