The House On Mango Street

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 11th grade February 2008

download word file, 4 pages 0.0

Today in the year 2000, with so many corporations, new technologies, computers, space shuttles, and much more advances, there should not be or exit poverty in this world. Although some governments use their funds for other minor causes. Even here in Puerto Rico with today's issue concerning a shell sculpture to be constructed for the new millennium park at the cost of 25 million dollars, that amount of money can be use for a better cause like better housing, improvement on education, better pay for teachers, even for better drugs rehabilitation programs. Although some people that are considered poor are very happy with the little they have and some rich people are extremely unhappy missing the essential of life. Could be the other way around. Poverty is a way of life in which people live there life with what they can and not live with what they want. This way of life closes many doors for future opportunities.

Been considered a poor person is lacking money or material things, but can be consider a great person for achieving their goals in life through many sacrifices.

The perfect example is placed on two novels I read this summer, When I was Puerto Rican by Esmeralda Santiago and The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros. This two novels talk about the life of two families living in very poor conditions. I founded these two quotes that tells us about the conditions poor people live, in page 7 of the novel When I was Puerto Rican "The floor was a patchwork of odd-shaped wooden slats that rose in the middle and dipped toward the front and back doors, where they butted against shiny, worn thresholds. Papi nailed new boards under Mami's treadle sewing machine, and under their bed, but the floor still groaned and sagged to the corners, threatening to collapse and bring the house down with it. "I will rip the whole thing out", Papi suggested. "We will have to live with a dirt floor for a while…."". In page 4 of the novel The House on Mango Street "It is 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. There is no front yard, only four little elms the city planted by the curb. Out back is a small garage for the car we do not own yet and a small yard that looks smaller between the two buildings on either side. There are stairs in the house, but there are ordinary hallway stairs, and the house has only one washroom. Everybody has to share a bedroom". These two quotes narrated to us by the main characters of the novels, Esperanza and Esmeralda, two poor little girls living in very unhealthy conditions.

Poor people are seen by the society itself like the outsiders, they are the people who others do not what to deal with them. Poor people felt like this when they went from the country to the city looking for a better life, but they realize that they were not wanted there, they were seen like stupid people. In page 139 of the novel When I was Puerto Rican I founded a quote that proves this; ""Didn't you learn fractions in that school for jíbaros you came from?" "The kids laughed. Sra. Leona smiled. Her teeth were small. I was so cold, my knees shook. "I see. Those country schools are always so far behind. That's why we have so many ignorant jíbaros…" "I'm not ignorant." "She grabbed the chalk from my hand and wrote some numbers on the board. I stepped toward my seat. "No young lady. You stand right there and watch, so you can learn." This quote give us a clear vision of how people on the city thought about the jíbaros, people from the mountains.

Esperanza and Esmeralda both set us a true example of courage. They both had very low resources but they never gave up. They would do anything to reach their goals, even escape from their houses. Esmeralda did not escaped from her house but she went with her family to New York, this brought her a new life. A life with much more opportunities, much easier than before. In Puerto Rico she had to deal with very little education and most of all her family problem, and poverty. The fact that her parents were always fighting. She left Puerto Rico looking forward to evolve, to reach her goals, Esmeralda by trying so hard reached it. She was, "The same jíbaro, but in a different horse". "And now you are here about to graduate from Harvard"(270). We can imagine how much a poor person had to go through to reach a goal this high. Esperanza was the kind of girl that is not sure with herself, she was always talking about the house she wanted, about how beautiful she wanted to be, ect. Was a poor girl with a lot of dreams always trying to succeed. She had a dream in which she wanted to help the people like her that goes like this, "They will not know I have gone away to come back. For the ones I left behind. For the ones who cannot out." What this tells us about Esperanza is that she was so humble and good, she wanted to help the poor even in her dreams.

Reading this two novels help me realize how poor people survive, how they are always looking forward to evolve to a better life. This is why I thank God everyday for what I have. The novels also filled me with pride because Latin like Esperanza and Esmeralda. Both novels talk about Latin families who never gave up. They showed me to always fight for your rights, fight till you reach your goals even tough you are very low in resources because there is always the route for success