Excerpt from The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
This is an excerpt from the book The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros.
I want a house on a hill like the ones with the gardens where Papa works. We go on Sundays, Papa’s day off. I used to go. I don’t anymore. You don’t like to go out with us, Papa says. Getting too old? Getting too stuck-up, says Nenny. I don’t tell them I am ashamed—all of us staring out the window like the hungry. I am tired of looking at what we can’t have. When we win the lottery…Mama begins, and then I stop listening.
People who live on hills sleep so close to the stars they forget those of us who live too much on earth. They don’t look down at all except to be content to live on hills. They have nothing to do with last week’s garbage or fear of rats. Night comes. Nothing wakes them but the wind
One day I’ll own my own house, but I won’t forget who I am or where I came from. Passing bums will ask Can I come in? I’ll offer them the attic, ask them to stay, because I know how it is to be without a house.
Some days after dinner guests and I will sit in front of a fire. Floorboards will squeak upstairs. The attic grumble.
Rats? they’ll ask.
Bums, I’ll say, and I’ll be happy.
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The House on Mango Street – Summary
Here is the book summary from Goodreads:
Acclaimed by critics, beloved by readers of all ages, taught everywhere from inner-city grade schools to universities across the country, and translated all over the world, The House on Mango Street is the remarkable story of Esperanza Cordero.
Told in a series of vignettes – sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes deeply joyous–it is the story of a young Latina girl growing up in Chicago, inventing for herself who and what she will become. Few other books in our time have touched so many readers.
Copyright © 1984 by Sandra Cisneros.