The House On Mango Street Essay

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This sense of being an 'alien' on a metaphorical level (and on a literal level, in the case of one Mexican 'wetback' worker who dies because he cannot seek medical care because he is an illegal alien) runs through the novel.Esperanza even sees popcorn in the sky, Darius sees God -- the imagination dictates reality when looking at the clouds.Reaching for the heavens is symbolized by clouds -- but it is important to remember in the myth of "Daedalus and Icarus" while Icarus, wearing wax wings, flew too close to the clouds, burned off his wings and fell to his death.Like the family, the house does not look like what is seen on television -- it is not white and it is not inhabited by a white family.The house has peeling paint, no yard, and not enough bathrooms for all of the six family members, it is old and it smells.Her cousin Marin also wants to be spirited away to a big house, far off from Mango Street.But instead of trying to change her own life, Marin is always waiting, and her dreams are never fulfilled."As safe as houses" is a common expression, as is "a man's home is his castle," and "the American Dream of home ownership." Houses are viewed as extensions of the self.However, in the House on Mango Street, the narrator Esperanza does not live in a house that she feels is truly her own, although her family has recently bought the crumbling, peeling structure.The Vargas children are too free, too unconstrained, and although Esperanza may occasionally chafe at her mother's over-protectiveness, she would not want to be like Angel Vargas either -- dead and in his grave.Soaring for the clouds has a place, but there still must be some caution and discipline.


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