The from the House on Mango Street

The story; themes; and implications for teaching from the House on Mango Street come from showing how today’s society has low expectations for those in the inner city. This book can be used to show what inner life is like and how these people are looked at and treated by others in society. Using this book in the classroom can be beneficial because many people have negative preconceptions of what life is really like as a minority. I know that I think of inner city schools and the students that attend them as underprivileged and don’t hold them to the same standards as I do others from smaller more suburban towns. Going to Milwaukee this semester has been a culture shock and I think that reading this book compliments are experiences doing our observation and participation.
This story is about a young Spanish girl, Esperanza, who is growing up in the Latino section of Chicago. She is embarrassed of where she lives because of the poor conditions of her house, the mice that run freely around her, and the neighborhood she comes from. Her neighborhood is inner city living where the cops are looked at as the bad people in the neighborhood, homeless people sleep in the streets, and she has seen many other bad things including rape and abuse. Esperanza struggles to fit into her new home because she has moved so often. She can’t find and keep friends. Esperanza doesn’t want to fit though because all she can think about is getting out of there and having the white picket fence in the suburbs someday. She does not consider her house on Mango Street her home. It is more of a temporary dwelling until she can get out of there. She works hard at a young age to help her family with the money problems. The story is also about finding some good friends in her new home and her adventures with them.
The most interesting themes, issues and characters are Esperanza and her dreams of getting out of the house on Mango Street. This book keeps you captured by telling stories of how she wants to get out of the city and off Mango Street. They are all very interesting and this is what makes the book so fun to read. Making friends and keeping them is also an important issue in this young girls life because she moves so often.
I think these things are interesting because I can relate to wanting to get out of where I was when I was growing up. I live in a small town and always dreamed of getting rich and being able to move far away and have the house of my dreams. I remember wishing and hoping that we would win the lottery one day and I could live the life of my dreams. No work or worries about what the future holds would be how I would live my life. No matter how bad it ever gets, nobody can ever take away your dreams. It is a great way to escape from your problems and at least for a little while you can live the life you’ve always wanted to live. I think that many people live through their dreams, especially those people who come from the inner city. I think that is what helps them get through their lives in such horrid conditions. I also think that the search for good friends was interesting. I can remember when I moved away from my friends and had to start all over in a new town. It is scary when you don’t know anybody and have to try to make new friends. Many of your young childhood friends will stay with you for a lifetime. Today, I am still friends with many of my oldest friends. They have become like family.
I want to say that this novel is a great way for people to see how somebody from a diverse population lives. It is a great book from the view of somebody living a completely different life than I have lived. I think it was very well written and is easy to read. This makes it a great teaching tool for children of younger age groups or college students as well. I read this entire book at one sitting because it kept my interest the entire time. I couldn’t wait to see what Esperanza went through next and I think students will appreciate a book like this. I know that I usually get bored reading, but this book was different. It makes you want to keep reading ahead. Having it in journal or diary form also made every chapter fresh and exciting. Each chapter was only two to three pages at most so the topics switched often which helped to keep my interest. This book would be good to use in the classroom because you could have different students read the chapters aloud to the class. A teacher could also get through this book in a relatively short period of time so the entire book could be read and discussed in a matter of a few class periods. The teacher could also assign chapters for the students to take home and read because there are so many of them and they are so short. The student would have no problem understanding and reporting to class on a chapter or two.
I will want others to read it because of how short and easy it is to read. More importantly, I will want others to read it because it tells an important message. A message of what inner city life is like and how we are all just people trying to survive the best way we know how. Students should read this because having diversity in their lives will make them a better person. In my school we had one mulatto student and that was our diversity. We didn’t have classes on diversity and we didn’t read books to help us understand what life in the inner city might be like. I think that if we had read books like this in school it would have been easier to deal with people that are different because we would have had a better understanding of where they were coming from. This book is an accurate account of a Hispanic girls knowledge of growing up in the city and how she was treated. Every student should have some form of diversity and this is a good book to start with.
This book will help me better understand the perspective of a child and her family from another culture because she gave detailed accounts of what life was like for her. She talked about what it was like growing up with a name she did not like. Having two names, one in English and one is in Spanish, was a task in itself. She felt out of place like most young children do when trying to fit in with their peers. This story gave you a look into inner city life and everything that comes with it.
I will read books such as this differently in the future now after reading The House on Mango Street. It is eye opening and after taking this class and others like it, I look at these books in a different light. This book seemed like an accurate portrayal of what life must have been like for this girl and I could tell I was emotionally into it. I could feel her pain even though I have not gone through these things first hand as she has. It was a sad story but I think it got the point across without saying “feel sorry for me because I live in the inner city.”
This book can be used with students to show that people from diverse populations are just like you and me. They just want to live a healthy and fulfilling life with friends and family. Most of them are trying to make a better life for themselves any way possible. This will help my students see others as equals and not as people of lesser value. I think it can also be used with inner city children to show that nobody is going to feel sorry for them and if they want a better life than they have to earn it themselves. Nobody is going to give them free hand outs all their lives and if they want something bad enough then they have to work for it. This book can be a powerful tool in teaching that to students.