The House on Mango Street

This book let me a little confused when I finished reading it. I’m not quite sure as to what angle I have to take in analyzing it. It is definitely not like the other books we have read in class. The chapters are shorter and there is no linear story to follow. I noticed that there weren’t quotation marks whenever someone other than Esperanza was speaking. Since I’m not a book fanatic, I’m not sure how to look at this book. To be quite honest, I consider this book boring because there’s no “climax” and even the ending confused me.

I would describe Esperanza as a typical person coming from an immigrant family. It helps that the whole book is from her point of view. In this way, we are able to see her emotions and uncertainties. She wants to be able to process things on her own. Not just things in general but those that come as a girl turns into a woman. I believe that even if this book were to be written from a non-Chicano point of view then it can still carry out the same message, which I’m struggling with right now.

This whole time I was trying to find a significance as to why the street is named Mango. Maybe it was just a random name, maybe not. I think one thing that I got out of this book though, is for some reason I thought of the house on Mango Street as being composed of the different people we see in every chapter. There was a point that I just forgot how many people there were because of their similarities and the stories specific to one that weren’t very lengthy. Perhaps that was the whole point all along. There is this stereotype, this culture, that exists in the neighborhood of Mango Street. Esperanza is able to pinpoint those who are living a life “expected” of them and she wants to find another way to do things, to approach things a different way. Towards the end, Esperanza expresses a feeling of discontent about having lived in a house on Mango Street. She expresses that among their other places of residence, the Mango Street house is merely just another house that is part of the list. It is a house that she “belong[s] to but do not belong to.”

3 thoughts on “The House on Mango Street

  1. cynthia lightbody


    I totally get where you are coming from. It’s definitely not like the other books we have read and maybe that’s why it seems like we can’t fully ‘get’ it, for lack of a better word. Referring to what you said about if it were written from the perspective of a young girl who is not part of the Latinx community – this reminded me of what Jon had asked last week, and also what I talked about in my post. Is this Esperanza’s story or is it every young female Chicano’s story, or even every young female’s story?

    Cynthia 🙂

  2. Curtis

    Hey Rachel!

    I’m glad I could finally convince you that this book is a little less disappointing than you thought! The House on Mango Street, to me, is representative of all people living there and the story of all their lives. Though Esperanza wants to leave Mango Street as she experiences sexual assault and bullying, there are people on Mango Street who liven up her life and allow her to acquire hope and new insights from. There are often characters filled with sorrow, heartbreak, and abuse. However, there are also people who don’t let the environmental and social factors around them weaken their spirits. These few that overcome the challenges of their environment will hopefully come back to help those that couldn’t help themselves.

    Stay safe!

    -Curtis HR

  3. Jon

    It’s true that there is no grand climax. It’s worth comparing the final chapter with the first one: there’s some repetition, and an element of circularity; but there’s also, I think, some difference. If the book’s narrative is (as I think Aurélien says) one of escape, in the end in fact Esperanza doesn’t exactly escape, which may seem anticlimactic. But the realization that she can’t escape (or rather, that she can leave but not escape, that she goes away in order to come back) is a proper realization, and it’s what enables this book to be written.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *