Harsh Reality: ‘The House On Mango Street’

Esperanza was happy for the house and she thought it was going to be like their dream house. The house would be white with trees around it, a great big yard and grass growing without a fence. When they got to the house it was very different but they were happy anyway. They never had a real house but it’s great to them because they don’t have to pay rent. There are many different rooms and they don’t have to share the bathroom. The house is small and red with tight steps in front and small windows. Bricks are crumbling in places, and the front door is so swollen you have to push hard to get in. There is no front yard, only four little elm trees the city planted by the curb. They are still happy about the house they got.

Sometimes in life, people wish for things they do not have. No matter how hard people wish on a star or on a candle, the wishes never seemed to be answered. Everyone has felt that bitter disappointment on Christmas morning when they finally realize that they were never going to be able to get what they wanted. This is the same exact feelings that the characters in Cisneros ‘The House on Mango Street’. Unlike us, the disappointment for these characters last throughout their childhood. Esperanza, Rachel, Nenny, Sally, and Lucy are among the kids growing up on Mango Street. They all long for friendship, love, and a better life, but all these kids face are the harsh reality of the ‘real world.’ In the society that Esperanza and her friends live in, love takes a back seat when it comes to relationships. ‘Someday, I will have a best friend all my own. One I can tell my secrets to. One who will understand my jokes without my having to explain them’. These are the longing words of Esperanza.

While growing up on Mango Street, Esperanza finds herself in a community that she feels she does not belong to. With all her heart, she longs for a true friend that she can tell her dreams to and will understand her for it. These wishes seem easy enough to grant, but Esperanza soon finds out that there is more to friendship. ‘If you give me five dollars, I will be your friend forever’. Esperanza discovers that she can not have anything for nothing. Rachel and Lucy sure enough become her friends, but only after she helped them pay for the bike.