The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros is an exploration of a little girl's childhood. This girl's name is Esperanza and she is growing up in a poor neighborhood in Chicago where she knows she does not belong. Esperanza doesn't belong on Mango Street because she is meant for much better things. She wants to grow up and become more than a wife and a mother. She wants to be free and have a home of her own far away from Mango Street.
While reading The House on Mango Street, it is easy to see that the people who live in poor neighborhoods like this one often do not have a choice. There are children like Esperanza who are very bright and meant for much greater things. It is sad that it is so hard for her to get what she wants only because her family is poor. Also, even though it is sometimes hard to piece together all of the stories in the book, Cisneros always uses such strong and beautiful language throughout the book that it paints such a beautiful picture of everything that happens in Esperanza's life. When we see the world through Esperanza's eyes, it seems so simple that she will grow up and find everything that she dreams of.
One story that I thought really stood out and in a sense captured the theme of the book was "A Smart Cookie." In this story, Esperanza talks about how her mother is talented like her and how she could have done so much more with her life if it weren't for shame. "Shame is a bad thing you know. It keeps you down." Esperanza's mother quit school because she didn't have nice clothes and she wants Esperanza to know that she too has the chance to make something of herself as long as she is not ashamed of where she comes from.