In "The House on Mango Street," Sandra Cisneros creates a believable scene using different elements of creative writing. Cisneros uses her description of the setting to allow "The House on Mango Street" to have a life of its own. She capitalizes on using the point of view of a young girl to set the theme of the story. She allows the reader to understand the characters without saying too much about any of them. Her story is successful in portraying a situation of devastating poverty in only a few words.
The setting of the story is between two houses; the one where the narrator's family currently resides on Mango, and the house before, on Loomis. Both houses are small, run down, and in low class neighborhoods. Of the house on Mango Street, Cisneros describes it as "small and red with tight little steps . . . and windows so small you"d think they were holding their breath . . . There is no front yard, only four little elms the city planted by the curb . . . and the house only has one washroom" (291). the narrator is unhappy about where she lives saying. "I knew . . . I had to have a real house. One I could point to. But this isn"t it" (291). The setting of the story is crucial in creating the reality of it. .
Another way the author lends to reality is using a first person point of view. The narrator is a young girl who shares her small home with her mother, father, and three siblings. She is a reliable narrator, telling things the way she sees them, not as she is told. Of the house on Mango Street, "For the time being, Mama says. Temporary, says Papa" (291). Her parents tell her this to keep hope alive within her for something better, but she "know[s] how those things go" (291). Using the young girl's view helps to create a sense of empathy that is reached more easily than had the point of view been that of the father or mother. It is easier for a reader to feel sorrow or pity for a child because children are more or less helpless, and therefore more heart wrenching to be seen in such a situation.