Houses in The House on Mango Street are often used to represent socioeconomic class and status along with hopes and dreams. At the beginning of the book, Esperanza describes all the homes that she and her family have lived in so far--most have been run-down apartments with various problems. Esperanza realizes that her family can only afford to live in these sorts of places, so she dreams of a day when her family will have enough money to live somewhere better. The house on Mango Street is supposed to be this dream house, and Esperanza feels happy because it will belong only to her family. However, the house is in a poor neighborhood and has problems of its own. This realization crushes Esperanza's hopes and dreams for a better life. As she gets older, she modifies her image of her dream house to one that is more realistic and compatible with her socioeconomic class which shows that she is maturing.