The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

957 Words4 Pages
The House on Mango Street


Sandra Cisneros was born in Chicago in 1954. She was the third child and the only daughter in a family containing seven children. She grew up and came to study at the Loyola University of Chicago and later on at the University of Iowa. Cisneros is the founder of two organizations, the Macondo Organization and the Alfredo Cisneros del Moral Foundation, whose goal is to serve writers. Sandra Cisneros has been writing for more than 45 years, publishing for over 35, and selling her own books for well-over 18 years. She has received the MacArthur Fellowship, two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, and a Texas Medal of the Arts. Cisneros is currently living with her multitude of pets in Central Mexico.

Form, Structure, and Plot:

This short story is organized into a series of vignettes, each vignette being as short as two paragraphs and as long as three full pages. This form that the story is written in reflects the rapidly-changing attention of the young girl telling it. It is told in chronological order, as it is written to resemble a journal or diary. Thus, there is no foreshadowing. It spans a year of the life of young Esperanza living on Mango Street.


Esperanza Cordero, the protagonist, is a round, dynamic character who grows both emotionally and physically during her time on Mango Street. Esperanza begins writing this story when she is around 12 years old, causing the writing to be naive in the beginning. She sees things as a child would see them, innocently. Throughout the story, Esperanza struggles with the feelings of loneliness and shame of being poor. All she wants is to fit in with someone somewhere. Esperanza uses her writing to connect with va...

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...l my own.” (108). She wants to be herself, but she cannot in her neighborhood. She doesn’t want to be like the women she is growing up around. She wants to be independent of everyone. Esperanza believes that one way to become independent is to have her own home just for her.

Significance of Title:

The House on Mango Street is the new house that Esperanza Cordero and her family move into. The importance of this house is in the way Esperanza connects her own identity to it.

Works Cited:

Cisneros, Sandra. The House on Mango Street. New York: Vintage, 1991. Print.

“SANDRA CISNEROS.” Sandra Cisneros: About Sandra Cisneros. Web. 27 Mar. 2014.


Shmoop Editorial Team. “The House on Mango Street.” Shmoop University, Inc., 11

Nov. 2008. Web. 31 Mar. 2014. .
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