“The House on Mango Street” is a novel by Sandra Cisneros, a Mexican/American re-known author. It is written in the first person taking the perspective of a Latina teenager named Esperanza Cordero.
The novel has several short chapters. Esperanza is a young teenager whose family moves to Chicago to a certain house at Mango Street. She does not like it there. This is because their house is tiny, and the neighborhood is poor. She gives her experiences in the house for over one year. Esperanza is not attractive, and hence, she does not receive the level of attention her friends get from men. She describes a time whereby they wore heels and paraded in their neighborhood with Nenney, her sister, and her two friends Lucy and Rachel. She also tracks the lives of her neighbors, giving the important moments about their lives. For example, when her aunt Lupe passes away.
Esperanza shares about Marin, a mother who is making efforts to raise her children. She dates Geraldo, a man who ends up dying. Esperanza describes a girl named Sally in her school who is physically abused by her father, who then ends up getting married to an older man and relocating. There are several situations that Esperanza describes her abuse. For one, an employee kisses her on the first day of her job. On another occasion, Sally stands her up when they were supposed to meet at a carnival, and a man assaults her.
Esperanza also describes people disappointed with their lives like her mother, who dropped out of school because she was embarrassed by her clothes.
Esperanza hopes to own a home someday with enough space so she can allow others to stay. She is promised it will come to be by some fortune tellers she meets. They, however, tell her that she should not abandon Mango Street and instead, try to help those unable to sustain themselves. After living for a year, she knows she will leave one day but then come back to help her neighbors.