What is the plot of The House on Mango Street?

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sagetrieb eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The plot of Mango Street does not consist of chronological events that develop out of a cause-effect relationship to each other. Instead, it consists of a series of vingettes, remembered by a young girl, that together offer a coming of age story for this girl of Mexican descent. We learn that she has a large family and they don’t have much money, and so part of the story shows how she comes to understand this identity within the terms of the dominant white, Anglo culture. The protagonist wants to leave her house on Mango street and experience the larger world, but her family and neighbors help her understand why Mango street is her home.  Should she move away and become independent or should she stay on Mango Street? After several events, including a funeral for Rachel and Lucy’s baby sister, aunts advise her that if she does leave, she should return to help those who cannot leave.  This advise means that part of her identity remains at Mango Street, that the house give her the roots of her identity.  The issue resolves itself when the protagonist understands that by writing about Mango Street and her life, she will always remain with it.

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The House on Mango Street

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