The House on Mango Street Chapter 1 - The House on Mango Street
Esperanza Cordero opens the novel with a short description of her family's constant movement. They have moved houses so many times she cannot remember, although she remembers the houses on Loomis, Keeler, and Paulina. And although the current house on Mango Street isn't the dream house her parents dreamed of each night, with running water, three washrooms, stairs, a basement, and a great lawn, it is still their own. She shares a room with her little sister Nenny, while her brothers Kiki and Carlos share another, and her Mama and Papa share the third.
Esperanza recalls an instance during her family's short residence on the third floor of a run-down building on Loomis Street. There had been a robbery in the Laundromat downstairs and the owners wrote that there were still open on the boarded windows as to not lose business. A passing nun questioned Esperanza about whether she lived there, as if it were something to be ashamed of. "I knew then I had to have a house. A real house. One I could point to. But this isn't it. The house on Mango Street isn't it. For the time being, Mama says. Temporary, says Papa. But I know how those things go." Chapter 1, pg. 5