The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

The House on Mango Street book cover
Start Your Free Trial

In The House on Mango Street, how does Esperanza's environment affect her? 

Expert Answers info

Lenna Gislason eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2019

write68 answers

starTop subjects are Literature and Arts

The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros is a coming-of-age novel told in vignettes from the point of view of Esperanza, a young girl who grows up in a barrio neighborhood in Chicago. How the environment of the neighborhood affects Esperanza’s perceptions of life and herself is a theme throughout the stories.

In the chapter “My Name,” Esperanza indicates that she doesn’t like her name because it sets her apart from mainstream society. She associates her heritage and living conditions with sadness in contrast to the optimism and prosperity of post-war America.

In English, my name means hope. In Spanish it means too many letters. It means sadness, it means waiting.

Esperanza experiences a loss of hope in the chapter “Gil’s Furniture Bought & Sold.” She describes the neighborhood junk store run by a cheapskate owner who doesn’t turn on the lights unless there is a sale. At the insistence of her sister Nenny, the store owner demonstrates for the girls how to operate a...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 1,011 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

mwestwood eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2006

write16,149 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences



Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

teachertaylor eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2010

write1,505 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

check Approved by eNotes Editorial