House On Mango Street Essay, Research Paper
The House On Mango Street Formal Writing Assignment
Dad?s Got His Wish
I never had a choice. They decided it all for me and the next thing you know, we
were moved. One night, I come home and my father gives me a big smile and says, we?re
out of here. I give him a puzzled look, but after staring into his grinning face, I realize what
he means. After thirty nine hard years, he has finally found the home he has always wanted.
Since my father was young, he had always dreamed of the house he would one day
reside. He would say to his mother, my grandmother, when I get big, I will live in a house
as big as New York. When my father began working, he started to save money in the bank,
knowing one day it would be spent for his dream home. He would doodle out sketches of
how he thought it would look.
As he aged, his goal became more realistic. He had a higher paying job, and was
able to move out on his own. Knowing he could not just leap into a palace at the ripe age
of 19, my father settled down in a run-down apartment complex.
He was placed in an old, one bedroom apartment. He would sleep at night, and
listen to the other poor families complain and argue into the wee hours. After two years of
this, he married my mother and they moved into their first house. This is where I was born
and raised. Everything in my life has come from this place. The house was a part of me,
and I assumed it would always be there for me.
But three days before my sixteenth birthday, everything changes. They have been
searching for a new place for months, and my father?s current job gives them the option to
look at pretty nice houses. But they claim to have found the greatest bargain of all time.
And without my input, they have picked this ?great? house in the middle of nowhere,
So, my father tells me, get ready to say goodbye to your house, we can move to the
new place in two weeks. And despite my wishes otherwise, this new place is going to
become my home.
And when I first see it, it is just as my father has described his house will one day be.
He used to sit me down and tell me of the one day when we would move into this gigantic
house. He described it as a combination of the White House, a submarine, and a New York
City skyscraper. Never worried about how much it would cost, just knowing that one day
he would be able to own this residence was all he needed.
It?ll make this house you live in now look like a poor man?s shack, he would say.
Everyone will have their own room, with plenty of space to put anything you wanted
anywhere you wanted it to go.
I never believed him. I would play it off as my father?s wishful thinking. More
rambling that he so often did. I figured I had as good a chance to see Elvis Presley as I did
to live in this grand place. But lo and behold, the day has come when I come face to face
with my father?s dream. I walk inside, see my bedroom, and realize that my father has not
gone back on his word. His dream has come true, and we live exactly where he said we
But They?re My Lines
What are they thinking? They are wrong, I am right. All of them have ganged up
against me, but I will hold firm in my belief this time. Terry, Mary, and Keith all think they
are so good now, but when I star in the greatest movie ever, they will comprehend what a
mistake they made. These so-called friends of mine cannot grasp the genius ideas that I
It all starts innocently enough, Terry and I playing some basketball in my backyard.
Then, Keith and Mary come over, but Mary is too cool to play sports, so we have to do
something different. Mary has this great idea that we should write and act in a play. Since
no one else can think of anything better to do, we all decide that this idea isn?t that bad.
No, no, no. My idea is better, she says. Whatever I suggest, Mary seems to think
of something that is better for the play. Terry and Keith do not have the guts to stand up to
her, so it is basically me versus her.
It would make the plot more clear if we add two lines for my character right here, I
say to her. Ooooh, I think it will be better if we just give those lines to my character, she
says with attitude. I had let her have her way up until this point, but I know it would be
better if I have these lines. So I tell her so: Mary, stop being so stupid. I thought of the
lines, and I know that my character should say them, so SHUT UP!
Before she can even react, both Terry and Keith start jawing their mouths. Man,
you just yelled at her. Dude, I thought her idea was better than yours, you shouldn?t have
blown up on her. You are an idiot, why don?t you stop being such a jerk, and let Mary have
some fun too. They both start attacking me, as if I was to blame for all of this. Mary is
sitting back, smirking with satisfaction, knowing that I either had to give in and let her have
the lines, or she would leave and take my two friends with her.
As soon as I see her with that sarcastic grin, I know what I have to do. So I say,
guys, if you think she?s right, just go with her and write the stupid play by yourselves. You
obviously don?t need me. Just because she?s a girl, it does not mean she is always right. I
thought of the idea, and it would work better if my character says them. So you guys
decide on whether or not we finish this play together.
They all look at each other, and they get up and leave. No words are exchanged,
just silence as they walk together. I stand there alone, watching them go.
Nicky Stole The Cookie From The Cookie Jar
Well, once again it happened, mom says. I am sick and tired of this, someone has to
fess up for it. She continues, ranting, now I have specifically told each one of you kids that
if you take the last cookie from the jar, have the decency to clean out the crumbs and wash
the inside out.
She has all of us: A.J., Nick, Mike, Anna, and me. We are sitting at the kitchen
table as she continues her speech, come on guys, I know you don?t do something without
help from at least one of your siblings. And she?s right, when have I ever done anything
without A.J. giving me a push, or Anna distracting the old lady down the street.
But this time, I am innocent. I had nothing to do with the cookies this time. First
off, I hate gingerbread cookies, so I would never take any of them for anything. Plus, I was
over at Brad?s house most of the afternoon anyways. We were playing G.I. Joes and
fighting with flaming balsa wood planes. So I have a pretty good alibi, and as I try to
explain to my mom that I was not involved, I get cut off.
I don?t want to hear any lip from any of you, she says with anger, wait till I finish
what I have to say before you interrupt me. So as she carries on with her ranting, I look
into the faces of all my brothers and my sister. When I look into Mike and Anna?s faces, I
see the same expression as I probably bear on my face, boredom and lack of interest. So I
can pretty much guarantee that neither of them were responsible for the last cookie.
Then when my eyes pass A.J., I see a cold stare across the table. Following his
glare, I see Nick grinning away. His gaze meets mine, and then his smile disappears as he
pretends to be as faultless as me. Then mom comes out with it, okay children, unless you
all want to skip supper and go to your rooms for the night, tell me who took the last cookie
without cleaning it out. Everyone sits there staring at each other. My stomach does not
want to skip a meal, but I cannot rat out my brother.
After about 30 seconds, Anna opens her mouth, I didn?t do it. This is immediately
followed by everyone else screaming out, I didn?t do it either, sounding like an out of sync
chorus. Apparently, mom does not accept these responses, and my head hits the pillow
before the sun goes down.
How does that phrase go? You can?t teach an old dog new tricks. Well, it certainly
applies here as my father is trying to install a brand new program on his computer. My
father has lost his cool, and is now screaming at the computer, hoping his angry antics will
help make the computer respond to him.
I?ve seen this happen before. I just wish for once he would have to struggle alone
and figure it out for himself, I mutter. So, before he can see me, I try to sneak past the
study door. But as I step by it, the floorboards creak and I am staring face to face with my
dad. His red face and wild eyes pretty much sum up his mood, and he seems about ready to
Tom, can you come in here and try to figure out this computer, he mutters. I let out
a big breath of air, knowing I am caught with nowhere to go. So I nod my head and enter
the room. My dad is very frustrated as he watches me try to fix the disaster he has left me.
So, as I also get more agitated, there is a lot of tension in the room. My mom just happens
to walk by as the dialogue between me and my father gets very animated and close to out of
Ahem, dinner time, my mom yells, right now! So the computer sits unfixed for
awhile as me and my father go to the kitchen table to eat. Although seconds ago we were
ready to explode at each other, my mother?s impeccable timing helps avoid a potential
disaster. After dinner, I run outside before my father has a chance to yell for me. I go to
my friend?s house to play Monopoly, while my father has to struggle to fix the computer by
It?s Friday afternoon, about 4 p.m. I am taking a nice, little nap, although I am
supposed to be baby-sitting for Nick and A.J. So they are running around throughout the
house, causing havoc as they went. A phone call awakens me. The voice says, how often
do you use Ajax Cleaner to clean your bathroom or kitchen? Ugh, it?s one of those
telemarketers, so naturally, I hang up the phone and resume my nap position. But no more
than twenty seconds after I hang up the phone, it rings again. This time it is my father.
Hello, son, how are the kids doing?
Fine, fine, they are watching TV or something. They?re doing okay.
All right, could you put A.J. on the phone? I?d like to ask him something.
So I go to get A.J., and I find him bouncing up and down on the couch. I pull him
off, and I thrust the phone in his hand. I go back to my room and try to fall asleep when
A.J. comes back in, holding the phone outstretched for me.
Yeah dad, anything else, I ask. My father tells me that A.J. told him what he and
Nick have been doing for the past few hours.
So? I say.
Well, actually, yes, I was wondering when you are going to get off your lazy butt
and actually do something for your family. You?ve been lounging around all day, and the
kids still haven?t even eaten lunch yet. I trusted you to watch your brothers to make sure
they are okay. But, you can?t take thirty minutes out of your day to play a nice game with
them, or even stay awake to make sure they aren?t trying to drink Pine-Sol again. So, you
are grounded until I can think of what to do with you.
Anything else? Then I hang up the phone and go back to bed