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Life In Transit: A Personal Response To “The House On Mango Street” By Sandra Cisneros

1041 words - 5 pages

“The House on Mango Street” was peaceful, easy reading for me. After trudging through many short stories documenting eye-narrowing love affairs, I was slogged down, and began to despair of ever finding a decent story that I could relate to. The main character, who is also the narrator, in Sandra Cisneros' story is never named, and the characters' physical and personality attributes are never described. However, their circumstances are made clear. Her family, like mine, has moved around to different rental houses, and now owns their own home. They had to leave their latest rental in a rush, due to plumbing issues, I too have fled a rental house because of complications with leaky pipes. ...view middle of the document...

We sold our dream home after only two years to go on the mission field. Since then, we have lived in several rental houses, as well as different hotels and people's houses for up to three weeks at a time. Rootlessness has consequences, though. After being “homeless” for a few weeks, tension levels are high, which is unfortunate when one needs support from one's family the most. Also, when one finally does get to settle down after being adrift for a while, often one falls into one of two extremes: inability to settle down in one place due to distrust and the expectation of leaving again, or becoming overly attached to one's new home and therefore distraught beyond measure when forced to leave it. Nevertheless, even moving to the other side of a town can expand one's worldview, which is why I've found moving often to be more fulfilling than living what might be considered an American dream.
In the story the narrator describes her family's flight from their last rental home because of a broken pipe. They “had to leave the flat on Loomis quick. The water pipes broke and the landlord wouldn't fix them because the house was too old. [...] That's why [her parents] looked for a house, and that's why [they] moved into the house on Mango Street, far away, on the other side of town” (Cisneros 151). We once had to move out of a temporary rental house before planned, after discovering black mold in the bedroom because of a leaky pipe in the wall. We packed our bags and left before my dad even got home from work. Also, just this past two weeks we've been dealing with corroded pipes under our house. Thankfully we will not have to move out, but I can understand why a landlord would not want to fix a broken pipe in an old house: we have a twenty foot tunnel under ours!
In passing, the protagonist comments that for each move her family...

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