What is the irony in The House on Mango Street?

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teachertaylor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The major irony in The House on Mango Street is that Esperanza's family decides to move into their own house to feel a sense of safety, security, and ownership only to realize that Mango Street is not safe or secure and the house is not as glamourous as it has been in their dreams.  In the first vignette in the novel, a nun asks Esperanza where she lives, and says, There? when Esperanza points to her house.  The nun implies that the house is nothing to be proud of, and as a result, Esperanza is not proud of her home. 

As the stories continue, there are views into the lives of others who live on Mango Street who also do not have ideal lives.  For example, Sally gets married to a man whom she believes will make her happy, but he is abusive and severely limits her freedom.  Even Esperanza cannot escape the tragedies of Mango Street and is sexually abused.  So the house of their dreams is ironically not an ideal place to live.

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The House on Mango Street

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