The very first vignette in this incredible collection of fragments, entitled "The House on Mango Street," describes both the house that the family ended up with and the home that they dreamed they would have, allowing a contrast to be developed between the poverty of their real house and their dreams and aspirations in their search for a home. Note how this dream house is described in the following quote:
They always told us that one day we would move into a house, a real house that would be ours for always so we wouldn't have to move each year. And our house would have running water and pipes that worked. And inside it would have real stairs, not hallway stairs, but stairs inside like the houses on T.V. And we'd have a basement and at least three washrooms so when we took a bath we wouldn't have to tell everybody. Our house would be white with trees around it, a great big yard and grass growing without a fence.
We can see the attractiveness of this dream and the way that it inspired Esperanza so greatly. However, at the same time we can also identify the way that this is not a practical dream that can be achieved by Latino immigrants that have to struggle so greatly in America to make ends meet. It is Esperanza's image of this white house, however, that helps sustain her as she searches for both her own identity and a place to belong.