In The House on Mango Street Esperanza reveals herself as both a product of the community in which she lives and one of the only figures courageous enough to transcend her circumstances. Like all adolescents, Esperanza struggles to forge her own identity.
Despite her ties to the past, Esperanza leaves no doubt that she is destined to leave this neighborhood for a bigger world outside the barrio, an allusion to her dual cultural loyalties. Esperanza believes that one day she will own her own house outside the neighborhood. However, she also leaves no doubt that she will return one day for those unable to leave the environment on their own. In "Bums in the Attic," for example, she describes how she will let bums sleep in the attic of her house one day, "because I know how it is to be without a house." In "The Three Sisters," Esperanza gives further foreshadowing that she will one day leave Mango Street, but will return to help others. "You will always be Mango Street," three ladies tell her. "You can't erase what you know. You can't forget who you are." Esperanza leaves the reader with the notion that she will leave but will not forget her roots. Though she does not always want to belong to this environment, she realizes that her roots are too strong to resist. The books and papers Esperanza takes with her at the end of the book are her means of freedom from the ugly house and the social constraints on the neighborhood.