Esperanza Cordero is the narrator of the House on Mango Street, and she tells her readers, "In English my name means hope. In Spanish it means too many letters." A Chicana pre-teen, living on the infamous Mango Street, she represents hope and dreams for those forever destined to inhabit in these crime filled streets of despair.
The one with marble hands called me aside Esperanza. She held my face with her blue-veined hands and looked and looked at me. A long silence. When you leave you must remember always to come back, she said.
Esperanza is a careful observer as evidenced in her detailed and emotional anecdotes. She looks up to the older girls in her neighborhood with awe and a little envy.
With a sense of awe and mystery, for example, she looks to older girls who wear black clothes and makeup.
She is strong and courageous as she faces adverse situations in the novel and grapples to find her own identity. She knows that she has the strength to find a better life, but it will take courage to leave all that is familiar to her at home.
"One day I will say goodbye to Mango. I am too strong for her to keep me here forever.
But she is faithful to her family, to her beginnings, and she knows that she will always remember from where she came.
One day I'll own my own house, but I won't forget who or where I came from.