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Notes on The House on Mango Street Themes

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The House on Mango Street Topic Tracking: Hopes and Dreams

Hopes and Dreams 1: Esperanza's central hope throughout the vignettes is to have a large, real, comfortable house; one that she is not ashamed to own, one in which she has complete control of her destiny. After she describes this house on Mango Street, Esperanza realizes that having her own house is her greatest dream.

Hopes and Dreams 2: Alicia is actively trying to achieve her dreams and goals. She attends the university so that she may have a better life. However, the dream is not fully realized as yet, for she still must live at home and be afraid of the mice in the kitchen.

Hopes and Dreams 3: Although Darius seems initially to be a rough kid who likes to taunt everyone, he truly has the same hopes and dreams as Esperanza. He expresses his dreams by looking up at the clouds. He believes he sees God in the sky and continues to look up, so that he may feel happy and at peace. Whether he realizes what he dreams are or not, he sees them in the clouds.

Hopes and Dreams 4: Esperanza hopes to eat in the canteen at school with the other girls and boys who live far from home. She wants this so desperately that she convinces her mother to write a faux note to the nuns. However, when she gets her wish, she realizes that it isn't all that great. She cries through the lunch hour and never gets to return.

Hopes and Dreams 5: When Esperanza visits Elenita to have her fortune told, she hopes to have a house one day. Elenita sees the dreaming in Esperanza's eyes and informs her of a large house one day.

Hopes and Dreams 6: Ruthie sits around in Edna's building reminiscing of her past dreams. She used to think she could be a song and dance girl. Now, those dreams are out the window, along with her marriage.

Hopes and Dreams 7: Sally comes from a family with no hopes and dreams and Esperanza wonders if she ever wants to escape. If Esperanza were in Sally's family, would hope to escape to another world. Esperanza secretly hopes to become friends with Sally, for she seems so interesting and pretty.

Hopes and Dreams 8: Esperanza hopes to have a large house on a hill one day, in which she can keep bums in the attic, instead of rats and mice. That way, she can tell people who wonder what the noise is, that she is housing bums. These dreams are to help other people, and not just herself, separating her wishes from those of others.

Hopes and Dreams 9: Esperanza's mama is a smart cookie with much talent. However, she never used it to better her own life. She desperately wishes a better life for her daughter and tells her so.

Hopes and Dreams 10: The three sisters tell Esperanza to make a wish. She does not reveal her wish, but they realize that she hopes to move away from Mango Street and find her own life - a better life. They instruct her to always remember Mango Street and the world from which she came.

Hopes and Dreams 11: Esperanza realizes that she is Mango Street and it is part of her. She longs to travel and find a new home of her own; however, she will always return to help those who could not achieve their dreams. She will always return.

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