It has been difficult to find what’s my favorite book until now. To be honest, I was not really happy when reading the first two books. But since Down These Mean Streets until now, it is very difficult to choose one that I have liked the most, because all of them were really good. The last three books have surprised me and helped me analyze some social issues and topics trough different perspectives.
However, when it comes to The House on Mango Streets, I feel this book touched a very sensitive point inside me. One part that really makes me identify with Esperanza is when she fights so fiercely for going out from Mango Street. She wants to go away and have a nice house of her own. But, she is not only dreaming about that, as her mother used to do. Esperanza does not leave anything by chance, she is persevering and determined to achieve that; and eventually it is nice that at end of the book she achieves this dream.
Yet, another common message that this book outlines, is that Esperanza should not forget who she is and where she comes from. Almost at the end of the book, we can read this: “You will always be Esperanza. You will always be Mango Street. You can’t erase what you know. You can’t forget who you are. […] You must remember to come back. For the ones who cannot leave as easily as you” (p. 105). This part of the book is kind of repetitive. Esperanza is always expected to come back to her origins and don’t ever forget that. It is as if she has, in a sense, “the duty” to help the ones that are still in Mango Street, the ones that do not born with the same destiny of Esperanza, and who sadly have to live hard moments in that special but also difficult neighborhood that characterizes Mango Street.
This message is kind of intriguing because I’ve also had the need to come back to my country and help those people who did not have the opportunity to go abroad and study in a University like UBC. However, in the case of Esperanza it is difficult to know for sure if this is a personal duty she imposed for herself, or if it is more like a duty that society expects her to meet.
One final though I have in my mind is that it is confusing to know for sure if Esperanza is the one that achieves his goal, meaning that she has the agency to carve her own destiny, or if it is luck that plays on her favor and permits her to go out of Mango Street because “she is special”, as one of the three old women told her.
I think it is needed more blogs to talk about this book. I have focused more on Esperanza and on the topics mentioned before. But, there are many stories more in this book that are also valuable to analyze. Esperanza’s neighbors have also very interesting, and (some even sad) lives. Sally is one of the characters that really caught my attention in this book, as well as Ruthie.
I really enjoyed this book, hope you also enjoyed it 🙂