The House on Mango Street

The House On Mango Street

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The House on Mango Street

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The House on Mango Street is a coming-of-age novel by Mexican-American writer Sandra Cisneros, published in 1984. It deals with a young Latina girl, Esperanza Cordero, growing up in a Chicago ghetto full of Chicanos and Puerto Ricans. Esperanza is determined to "say goodbye" to her impoverished Latino neighborhood. Major themes include her quest for a better life and the importance of her promise to come back for "the ones I left behind."


The House on Mango Street is made up of vignettes that are not quite poems and not quite full stories. Esperanza narrates these vignettes in first-person present tense, focusing on her day-to-day activities but sometimes narrating sections that are just a series of observations. The vignettes can be as short as two or three paragraphs long and sometimes contain internal rhymes. In The Family of Little Feet for example, Esperanza says:

"Their arms were little, and their hands were little, and their height was not tall, and their feet very...
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