The book The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros takes place on a run down street in Chicago called Mango Street. The main character of this book is a 13 or 14-year-old girl named Esperanza. Throughout this book she is faced with many different feelings and learns a lot of lessons in life. The main thing she learns about is men and her feelings toward them. Esperanza realized that so many of the woman in her neighborhood are entrapped by poverty, family situations, lack of education and marriage and men, and she vows that it would never happen to her.
Esperanza feels trapped by poverty because her family could not buy the kind of house that she could feel proud of. Esperanza's family had always talked about heir dream house that they planned they would own a t some point. "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." (p.4) On Sundays, which was Papa's day off, the family would go out and look at the nice houses on the hill. "I am tired of looking at what we can't have. When we win the lottery. Mama begins, and then I stop listening." (p.86) Esperanza soon got sick of looking at all the nice houses: it just made her more upset and ashamed of her own house. Esperanza tells herself that she will get out of Mango Street and own her own house that she can be proud to go home to. Rosa Vargas is even worse off. Not only did she not have the money for a better house; she barely has the money to feed all of her children. She ".cries every day for the man who left without even leaving a dollar for bologna or a note explaining how come." (p.29) As a result, Rosa had to spend most of her money on food and could not afford a new or better house, so she is "trapped" within her own house, too.
In some cases people are "trapped" by family situations. For instance, it is hard for Rosa to move and better her family because of the size of it.