In The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros, we meet Esperanza, an insatiable young Latina growing up in a rundown neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois. The book is classified as a novel but in my eyes, it’s more like a set of vignettes that tell a story. I became a slave to the story instantly; my only complaint about this one is there aren’t more pages to read. It felt as if I was reading right out of Esperanza’s diary as she spoke about her trials and tribulations. Each memory she touches on is only explained for about 2 or 3 pages but it was easy for me to identify with her unyielding desire to be free.
As a young child, Esperanza can’t understand the jubilation her father feels when they buy the house on Mango street; it made little sense to her someone could be so proud while living with so little. As a teenager, she can barely stand to be in the house; she could never escape the stifling feeling she experienced when within its walls. As a young adult, Esperanza realizes that the very things she’s always been discontent with are guiding her towards her true home – within herself, where it had always been. Though the words are fewer in this book than most, Cisneros uses each one to its full potential and creates an entire picture. Coming full circle with her and Esperanza is a heartwarming experience.