Friday, May 15, 2009

The House on Mango Street

Have you ever been the new kid at school, or been the new kid in the neighborhood, because you and your family just moved? Most of us have moved before, and most of us can say that at some point we have been the new kid. Sometimes being the new kid is easy, and making friends is a breeze. This is not always true, unfortunately. Every so often, a person will have problems when he or she moves. Some families move a lot; therefore, some kids never get to make new friends that they can keep. This can be tough on kids and adults alike. In the novelette, The House on Mango Street, the main character Esperanza Cordero is a child that does not have an easy life. This creative little novel by Sandra Cisneros was interesting and the whole story captivated me.

Esperanza is a sweet timid Hispanic girl that lives with her family of five on Mango Street. She has two brothers, a sister, Nenny, and her mom and her dad. Esperanza is embarrassed by the home that her and her family live in, but she likes the house they live in now better than the houses they lived in before. Her and her family has moved so much that she cannot think of a time when they have not been moving from home to home. Esperanza constantly dreams of getting a house of her own away from Mango Street and the people that live there; a house that she can be proud of . Throughout the story of Esperanza’s life, she meets many people on Mango Street that influence her growth. Esperanza sees herself as an ugly duckling, but she loves to protect the ones that she loves. She writes down all the adventures that she goes through, and all the information she found interesting about the people she meets while living on Mango Street. Once she is grown she realizes that no matter what life she escapes to Mango Street will always be a part of her, and she cannot change that.

The author Sandra Cisneros wrote this novelette in a way so that you get to see little parts of the main character’s life. When reading the novelette one gets a peek at all the small happenings that mold Esperanza throughout her life to make her strong and noble. Sandra Cisneros also show the reader what life is like for some Hispanic people. Life is not always gentle and easy. She shows the reader that life should never be taken for granted and that life is different for everyone.

The theme for this novelette is that no matter where you go in life, you cannot change your upbringing or the past that has shaped you. That past will always be a part of you, and will stay with you until the day that you die. No one can change their past; they just have to accept that the past is part of them. Esperanza realizes this once she is grown and ready to move on in life on her own.

This novella could take place anywhere. The events that occur with the main character and all the changes that she goes through could happen to anyone at anytime. I myself have gone through many moves and drastic changes that have shaped me into the person I am, and that is exactly what happens with Esperanza. People do not realize how hard life can be for people that are different from them. The difference could be race, religion, or political view, and people handle them all in their own way.

I really enjoyed reading this novel. I found The House on Mango Street to be a cute little read, with deep meaning, and an important message. People of all ages should read The House on Mango Street, and maybe even experiment on writing their own little novel about their live on their street. Sandra Cisneros wrote did a phenomenal job writing this novel, and I intend to read more of her works. Some more novels that she has written include Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories, Bad Boys, Caramelo, and Vintage Cisneros. These are just a few of her many popular pieces of work.

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