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Literature A NOVEL A The author Sometimes it helps to enjoy a story more if you are aware of the social and cultural background of a writer . Read the first chapter of The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros . The narrator is a girl named Esperanza who grows up in a poor neighborhood in Chicago . What do we learn about the character’s background ? CHAPTER 1 The House on Mango Street We didn’t always live on Mango Street . Before that we lived on Loomis on the third floor , and before that we lived on Keeler . Before Keeler it was Paulina , and before that I can’t remember . But what I remember most is moving a lot . Each time it seemed there’d be one more of us . By the time we got to Mango Street we were six – Mama , Papa , Carlos , Kiki , my sister Nenny and me . The house on Mango Street is ours , and we don’t have to pay rent to anybody , or share the yard with the people downstairs , or be careful not to make too much noise , and there isn’t a landlord banging on the ceiling with a broom . But even so , it is not the house we’d thought we’d get . We 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 . We had to leave fast . We were using the washroom next door and carrying water over in empty milk gallons * . That’s why Mama and Papa looked for a house , and that’s why we moved into the house on Mango Street , far away , on the other side of town . They always told us that one day we would move into a house , a real house that would be ours for always so we wouldn’t have to move each year . And our house would have running water and pipes that worked . And inside it would have real stairs , not hallway stairs , but stairs inside like the houses on T . V . And we’d have a basement and at least three washrooms so when we took a bath we wouldn’t have to tell everybody . Our house would be white with trees around it , a great big yard and grass growing without a fence . 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 . * In the US , volume is measured in gallons : one gallon is equal to nearly four liters .

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