House on Mango Street

The excerpt from the “House on Mango Street”, by Sandra Cisneros tells a brief background story of the narrator. She has moved many times in her life to several run-down and shabby apartment buildings. She is part of large family and each time they move, it seems that a new family member comes to live with them. In one experience she had with a nun: “Where do you live she asked. There I said pointing up to the third floor. You live there?” This causes the narrator to really be ashamed of her home and wants to move to a real house that her parents own. When the narrator’s family does move, it is not like what she imagined. As she describes it: “It’s small and red with tight steps in front and windows so small you’d think they were holding their breath. Bricks are crumbling in places, and the front door is so swollen you have to push hard to get in…”

                In “Space and Place” by Yi-Fu Tuan, the chapter “Space, Place, and the Child” describes the different stages in a child’s life and how they experience space and place as they mature. He mentions that as children get older, they forget their early experiences. As a  child goes to new places and sees new things, their experiences  help to shape the child’s perspective and space, starting as a baby with the child’s mother and growing up to be a mobile child. This is similar to the narrator’s experiences in “House on Mango Street”. It is unknown how old the narrator is but she has been through a lot and she chooses to only remember the negative experiences. The many times she moved has diminished her expectations and when she finally moved into  a new home; rather than  feeling  proud, she is again met the reality of another run-down home.

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2 Responses to House on Mango Street

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