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The House on Mango Street

The House on Mango Street

by Sandra Cisneros

Dreams, Hopes, and Plans Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

They always told us that one day we would move into a house, a real house that would be ours for always so we wouldn't have to move each year. […] Our house would be white with trees around it, a great big yard and grass growing without a fence. This was the house Papa talked about when he held a lottery ticket and this was the house Mama dreamed up in the stories she told us before we went to bed. (1.4)

The fantasy of owning a beautiful white house is first presented as a family dream – later Esperanza internalizes her Mama and Papa's dream and makes it her own.

Quote #2

Alicia, who inherited her mama's rolling pin and sleepiness, is young and smart and studies for the first time at the university. Two trains and a bus, because she doesn't want to spend her whole life in a factory or behind a rolling pin. (14.2)

The images that are used here are a great way to visually express Alicia's determination to achieve her goals. What's she running away from? A life of servitude or industrial drudgery, expressed by a rolling pin and a factory. What's she willing to do to avoid that kind of life? "Two trains and a bus" illustrate the distance she travels, just to get to school.

Quote #3

When I am to sad and too skinny to keep keeping, when I am a tiny thing against so many bricks, then it is I look at trees. […] Four who reach and do not forget to reach. Four whose only reason is to be and be. (29.4)

When Esperanza personifies the trees outside her house, she thinks of them as reaching. Esperanza, who likens herself to the trees, must also be reaching for something – what is it? Does she even know, or is her only reason "to be and be"?

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