“the Setting of the House on Mango Street”

Better Essays
Manny Salazar
Jennifer Wiley
WRT 101 M-W 10:40-11:55
November 26, 2012
“The Setting of the House on Mango Street”
The short story, “The House on Mango Street,” is a story that is centered within a particular neighborhood, which is evidently inhabited by middle-to-lower class folks. Although the introduction of the story does not state a specific location, it is safe to say that it is not the typical neighborhood where you would find rich white folks living. For example, the house where the protagonists live is described as almost collapsing due to brick damage; something that would not be an issue within a richer neighborhood. Evidently, the setting is one of the most important elements that constructs the first chapter. The House on
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The text also explains how their mom would share stories with them describing how their dream home would look like. That most likely gave them hope and made them fantasize about someday living in a better home. However, the story portrays how the narrator became more realistic and pessimistic about their situation. In the last paragraph of the story, the narrator’s parents state that their current life style is only temporary, but the narrator insists that nothing will change any time soon. Being the oldest of all the children, she has matured and become more aware that overcoming financial barriers are considerably long processes, and that their situation will not change from one day to the next.
The purpose of “The House on Mango Street” is to create a mental picture within the reader’s head. Throughout reading it, we get a sense of what the family has gone through, and what the severity of their struggles really are. The setting helps us see that their life styles have improved gradually, but they are still not where they want to be on the economic ladder. Even though their situation seems to improve, the narrator makes it clear that they are nowhere close to what she envisions her life in her dreams. The narrator’s pessimistic point of view opens the audience’s mind, and helps us see their situation more realistically. However, somewhere deeply, the narrator still holds on hope that someday they will be
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