Sandra Cineros wrote the book, “The House on Mango Street”. She went to Loyola University Chicago and University of Iowa for creative writing. “The House on Mango Street” is one of her books she wrote, along with “Bad Boys”, “My Wicked, Wicked Ways”, “Woman Hollering Creek and Other Series”, Hairs= Pelitos”, “Loose Woman”, “Caramelo”, “Vintage Cisneros”, “ Bravo Bruno”, “Have You Seen Marie” and, “A House of My Own”. Bilingualism is one way she writes; which is when you substitute some other language in for a few words. Also, she writes narrative style.
Esperanza is a girl who lives in a neighborhood in a small house. She tells random stories about her days. Each short story is about a person or event in her life. Darius is full of himself. He chases girls with evil things, such as firecrackers. He likes to talk about cloud as well, and he pointed one out as being God. There is also a family in which every member has a small, yet unique feet. Grandpa has thick, tamale feet, Grandma has pink pearl feet, the baby’s resembles salamanders, and Mother has white pigeons for feet.
One day, some girls go shopping and learn how to walk in high heels; Rachel, her friend, is good. They show them off, after their purchase, to everyone, asking if they life them. There is also a “Bum Man”, who asks to pay for a kiss from Rachel, but they leave really fast before her can offer anything else of such nonsense. They are tired of being beautiful. Later, Esperanza’s papa tells her that Abuelito is dead, and cries. She is the oldest, so she fells responsible, and holds her papa. Her thoughts lead her to the idea of her going to hell, because she is bad; yet she is not sure.
Ruthie is her other friend, who is childish, yet wonderful. It’s obvious that Esperanza is very oblivious to real life situations, but she notices the littlest details about people. She doesn’t take much precaution in situations detrimental to her. Dreaming of being grown up, she imagines inappropriate things that come with her freedom of adulthood. Mamacita is the lady across the street with characteristics of a stereotypical grandmother. A man paid to have her live with him and his son. Rafaela is another friend who dreams of being free, like Esperanza, and out of her house. Sally is another girl who’s beautiful, and Esperanza is jealous of her. She wishes of a perfect life with no worries.
Minerva is her friend who is married with two daughters. She worries a lot and you can see it in her poems she writes. Also, she is very uncertain of life. Esperanza is almost jealous of what the people she knows have. She caught Sally kissing boys, told the boys’ mother, and she didn’t care. Sally ended up getting married before eighth grade, but it’s obvious she regrets it. Esperanza is confused about her identity, and writes. She leaves Mango Street in the end, after growing up some more.
Esperanza is the main character. She is telling/writing all these stories and they are her feelings about daily events and people. Essentially, it’s like her diary. Esperanza in Spanish means hope, her name is the same as her grandmother, and she is Mexican. She lives in a stereotypical Mexican neighborhood: she’s poor, lies about her age, her ghetto friends get into a lot of trouble, (pshhh… that wasn’t racist at ALL). Her main attribute is that she is observant; she gets every detail. Sally is a mature, boy crazy, female. She is Esperanza’s friend, but they secretly don’t like each other very much. Ruthie is another character. Though she is old, she is very childish. She is tall, skinny, and whistles. Not only that, but she sings and dances. Esperanza and she are good friends, as well.
I don’t really identify with any characters other than Rachel—mostly because she has men all over her and she’s a female. Nothing else about the other characters is the same for me. The theme of this book is mostly race. Esperanza is Mexican, and she lives in an average, third-class, neighborhood. She goes through trails for being in that situation. Another main theme is innocence. Throughout the book, she grows up, and becomes more mature. At the beginning of the book, she is quite immature, in the sense of maturity, rather than, you could say, a teenage boy. By the end of the book, you can definitely see that she has grown up. The setting is very varied, time-wise.
I honestly did not enjoy the book. It was almost tedious with the stories of Esperanza and her everyday life. However, I did like her frequent stupidity; it amused me. I would recommend this book to those who want an easy, short read. Her reactions to situations were interesting, and somewhat enjoyable.