The House on Mango Street is the novel by Sandra Cisneros, the famous American author with Mexican roots. The plot of the novel is based on such well-known concept in the philosophy as the American dream, which means a strong commitment to achievement of better life and the pursuit of financial success. Esperanza Cordero, the main character of the novel, is the girl, who moves with her large family from one place to another for a long time.
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The girl is told by her parents that one day they will live in a beautiful large house and their wandering will eventually stop. However, the family moves to the house on Mango Street, the conditions of which are far from the image Esperanza dreamt about. After the conversation with her neighbor she becomes oppressed by the environment of the Mango Street and her house, in particular. “You live there? The way she said it made me feel nothing. There. I lived there. I nodded” (Cisneros 5). The girl decides that she will do her best to go away from this place and that one day she will have a house of her dream. Esperanza’s wish reflects the main idea of an American dream to be independent and prosperous.
Discussion of Esperanza’s American Dream
Esperanza wants to move away from the Mango Street because she wants to live a better life. Every day she observes the brutality of local men to women. Esperanza herself becomes the victim of the sexual abuse. Her child dream of a beautiful house will eventually encompass in itself not only the desire to be wealthy but rather the wish to be independent and strong. It is not surprisingly that her name is translated into English as hope.
Esperanza’s dream is model for a lot of people in the modern world as well, because, unfortunately, there are still unprotected social layers in our world and the emigrants’ environment represents one of them. That is why it is reasonable for people to have a dream like Esperanza had. People cannot be deprived from their natural desire to break free from the problem neighborhoods.
She wants to be happy and she thinks “I want to be all new and shiny” (Cisneros 5). She dreams about the house on hills. “People who live on hills sleep so close to the stars they forget those of us who live too much on earth” (Cisneros 94). However, the beauty of her dream is not egoistic. She decides that when she moves away from Mango Street she will always return to help her neighbors. “One day I’ll own my own house but I won’t forget who I am or where I came from”, she says. (Cisneros 94)
To sum up all above mentioned, we can say that the main idea of The House on Mango Street represents the classic example of what we mean under the American dream. Esperanza’s desire to move to a better house only reflects her strong wish to change the surrounding reality. Her American dream eventually leads her to the realization of the importance of not only being self-satisfied with her life but of the help to others to make their dreams of better life come true. After all, it can be said that Esperanza’s dream is a model for people who aim at changing something in their lives because her dream assumes the improvement of not only her own life but also the positive change in the surrounding world.
Cisneros, Sandra 1991, The House on Mango Street. Web.
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