Literature: The House on Mango Street

The House on Mango Street is a 1984 young-adult novel by Sandra Cisneros. It is structured as a series of vignettes told from the point of view of Esperanza, a young Mexican girl, who describes her neighborhood, her life and the people she knows.

The House on Mango Street contains the following tropes:

  • Abusive Parents: Sally's dad beats her.
  • Babies Make Everything Better Averted like whoa.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: Esperanza's parents tell her she is being this when she stops participating in some family activities, out of frustration with their poverty.
  • Coming-of-Age Story
  • Hope Sprouts Eternal: The four skinny trees.
  • Innocent Inaccurate: Esperanza, throughout the entire book.
  • Jerkass: Mamacita's husband. He complains about Mamacita only being able to speak Spanish, when he could teach her English himself.
  • Most Writers Are Writers: Writing is Esperanza's means of escape
  • Rape as Drama: Maybe.
    • To clarify: Esperanza is very clearly assaulted at a carnival by some random man, but it's never stated how far it goes. The reader knows that there was some very forceful kissing, but Esperanza doesn't elaborate. Was it too horrific? Did she block it from her memory? We don't know.
  • Slice of Life
  • Tarot Troubles
  • Woman Child: Ruthie. Many characters avoid her because of this.
  • Wrong Side of the Tracks: Esperanza and her family live in the Latino part of Chicago, where most families are poor. She derisively describes how white people who go there are scared of her neighborhood, and she also says that it's scary for her people to go into a wealthy neighborhood.

Alternative Title(s):

The House On Mango Street