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Below are two elements of Esperanza's physical environment:
The House on Mango Street
Of course this is a part of her physical environment! It's the title of the work. She feels shame for living in this house. It's described as run-down and placed in a low-income neighborhood. Esperanza felt that moving from the house with boarded-up windows to a house that her family owned would solve all of her family's problems. However, she soon learns that even though her family owned the home, there were still problems afoot. Very little of the story actually happens here, so one might believe that she is still trying to escape or run from the problems her family struggles with.
Mango Street - The Community
Most of the story takes place within the community - on the street with her friends, on Edna's back porch, in Gil's junk shop, up in the tree in Meme's backyard, at school, and in the monkey garden next door. The community is, both literally and figuratively, becoming her home and embracing her. Also, her ability to roam the neighborhood and seek adventure shows her as independent and free. This differs from many other women in the neighborhood because they are often confined to their homes. Everyone in the community seems to be seeking something. Whether it's an escape or a dream, they are all hoping to find something to be rescued. By the end of the novel, Esperanza vows to leave Mango Street and find her dreams, rather than dream her life away.
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