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Esperanza’s Identity Essay

Do you think that where you live shaped your personality? Well, the book The House on Mango Street clearly shows how Esperanza struggles from where she lives because she wants to live somewhere else. The fact of where she lives, who she lives near, and what her house looks shapes her identity.

Esperanza’s view of her house is the symbolism of her individualism. “A house all of my own.” Pg. 108 This shows that she does not want to be unheard of or seen, but that she desires to express herself in her own unique way in life. However that “house” is an obstacle for her, which she feels is blocking her to freedom. Also, Esperanza shows that benefits of having a house all of your own: the absence of rent, sharing with neighbors, or thinking about the landlord. Most important this quote shows that she wishes freedom from the violence, which includes, in her view, sexual relations with men.

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When one lives in a community that is worse than others, he or she might think why people still live in that community when they could live somewhere better. “The only thing I don’t understand is why Ruthie lives on Mango Street if she doesn’t have to.” Pg. 69 This shows how Esperanza feels trapped on Mango Street, and that she is stuck from her path to happiness. Yet, She does not realize that someone else might have a different road.

Esperanza shows her true reason for leaving Mango Street, and this is to help those less fortunate, to get out of the trap, living in poor America. They will not know I have gone away to come back. For the ones I left behind for the ones I cannot out” Pg. 110. But, the trap is more then just poverty; it is the whole outlook toward life, which she truly tries to achieve by leaving Mango Street.

Thus, I conclude that living on Mango Street shaped Esperanza in many ways.

Her willingness to baptize herself in the beginning of the book indicates her desire to escape the life, which she was born. However, by the end, she is proud of her identity and never wants to forget how she lived on Mango Street.

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