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“The House on Mango Street” is a novel written by Sandra Cisneros that tells the story of a young girl named Esperanza Cordero growing up in a poor neighborhood in Chicago. The novel is a series of vignettes that depict Esperanza’s experiences and observations of life on Mango Street, and her struggles with identity, gender, and class.
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The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
Sandra Cisneros is a Mexican-American writer who is widely recognized as one of the most prominent Chicana authors of her generation.
Born in Chicago in 1954, Cisneros is the author of several books of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. She has received numerous awards for her writing, including the MacArthur Fellowship and the National Medal of Arts.
The House on Mango Street Characters
Esperanza Cordero: The protagonist of the novel, a young girl growing up on Mango Street who dreams of escaping her impoverished neighborhood.
Nenny: Esperanza’s younger sister who often accompanies her on her adventures around Mango Street.
Mama and Papa: Esperanza’s parents, who work hard to support their family but struggle to make ends meet.
Sally: A friend of Esperanza’s who is beautiful but trapped in an abusive relationship.
Marin: A teenage girl who lives on Mango Street and dreams of finding a wealthy man to marry.
“The House on Mango Street” is a novel that tells the story of a young girl named Esperanza Cordero, who lives in a poor neighborhood in Chicago. The novel is structured as a series of vignettes, each one capturing a different moment or experience in Esperanza’s life. Through these vignettes, we see Esperanza grow and mature as she navigates the challenges of poverty, gender, and identity.
The novel begins with Esperanza’s family moving into a new house on Mango Street. Esperanza is excited about the new house, but quickly realizes that it is not the home of her dreams. Over the course of the novel, we see Esperanza’s family struggle to make ends meet, with her father working long hours and her mother taking care of the children at home.
Esperanza is a smart and curious girl who dreams of escaping Mango Street and becoming a writer. She makes friends with other girls in the neighborhood, including her younger sister Nenny, but also encounters the darker side of life on Mango Street, including poverty, violence, and abuse.
As Esperanza grows older, she becomes more aware of the limitations placed on her by her gender and social class. She witnesses the struggles of other women and girls in the neighborhood, including her friend Sally who is trapped in an abusive relationship, and Marin who dreams of finding a wealthy man to marry.
Despite the challenges she faces, Esperanza remains determined to escape Mango Street and make a better life for herself. The novel ends with Esperanza writing her own story, reflecting on her experiences and her hopes for the future.
Overall, “The House on Mango Street” is a powerful and poignant novel that offers a vivid and nuanced portrait of life in a poor neighborhood. Through Esperanza’s eyes, we see the beauty and the pain of Mango Street, and are left with a lasting impression of the resilience and strength of those who live there.
The House on Mango Street Summary
“The House on Mango Street” is a beautifully written and moving coming-of-age story that explores themes of identity, gender, and class through the eyes of a young Mexican-American girl.
The novel’s episodic structure allows Cisneros to capture the many different experiences and emotions of Esperanza’s life, from her moments of joy and wonder to her struggles with poverty and oppression. Through Esperanza’s stories, we gain a vivid and heartbreaking understanding of the challenges faced by immigrant families living in inner-city neighborhoods.
“The House on Mango Street” is a must-read for anyone interested in Chicano literature, coming-of-age stories, or the immigrant experience. Cisneros writes with a lyrical and poetic voice that captures both the beauty and the pain of Esperanza’s world. The novel’s vignette structure allows for a rich and varied tapestry of stories and characters, each one offering a unique perspective on life in Mango Street.
While the novel is relatively short, it packs a powerful emotional punch and leaves a lasting impression on the reader. Highly recommended!