The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros is not the traditional novel, but a collection of short pieces, all written from the view of Esperanza, a young Hispanic girl. Over the course of the book, as Esperanza grows, she describes the people who come in and out of her life on Mango Street. Esperanza uses her writing to try and escape the life she feels destined to live, and by the end, it seems Esperanza has hope that things will change for her. She even indicates that one day she might return to Mango Street to help change the street and its people.
Esperanza explains that outsiders (people not from her neighborhood) are scared to enter. When her neighbor's cousin takes them for a ride, it turns out to be a stolen car. They all have fun, but this might be scary to outsiders.
The local pawn shop is one of the places Esperanza and Nenny sometimes go. One of the most descriptive environments, the book describes the cluttered shop full of "tables with their feet upside down" and "rows and rows of refrigerators."
Much of Esperanza's time is spend at her own house. Her mom, dad, two brothers, and younger sister all live there with her. Her mom is often described as seeming overworked.