The House on Mango Street is a classic that everybody should read. Through a series of childhood memories in the form of vignettes, author Sandra Cisneros brings readers into the life of Esperanza, a young Latina growing up in a small house in Chicago. Cisneros uses these stories as a way to explore various themes such as coming of age, identity discovery and the importance of the marginalized voice. Each vignette resonates with readers in a different manner, whether you are left smiling or tearing up. Whether or not you identify with the cultural references made throughout the book, you are able to appreciate the moments of joy and the hardship that Esperanza goes through, moments that many readers can probably identify with.
The first time I read The House on Mango Street, I was in elementary school and we were asked to read a few select chapters. The first time I read The House on Mango Street was well over 10 years ago, yet I still remember when Esperanza ate a cold rice sandwich for lunch or when the kids on the block were talking about cumulus clouds or the moment when Esperanza decided she didn’t want to be a sad married woman. A book like this creates memories through captivating language and intricate details, ones you never forget, and changes every time you read it. This is the kind of novel that makes you want to mark your favorite stories for you to read in your time of need later on. It is a book that represents familiarity, warmth and comfort.
By: Carina Cruz
Cisneros, Sandra. The House on Mango Street. New York: Random House, 1984. Print.