A House Is Not a Home Essay
People all around the world today live with the idea that one day they will be living in the perfect house with the perfect family. This represents a stereotypical view that has been viewed as a social norm for many years now in which society only thinks about the physical aspects of a home. There is much more tied in to living the so called ‘American Dream’ that goes way beyond the materialistic desires. In The House on Mango Street, one can assume that the narrator is a young child with a skewed view on life due to their young age.
By indoctrinating youth with the idea that there can only be one ideal house for everyone it is making it more difficult for the future generations to find happiness if they are also wanting something that is difficult to achieve. The point of view present in The House on Mango Street can be seen as somewhat unreliable due to their lack of knowledge regarding the situations. By reading between the lines one is able to see that the parents have been modifying the truth due to their young age as to not worry them.
By telling them that, “They had to leave quick because the pipes burst and the house was too old to fix them” (Cisneros), proves that there were ulterior reasons behind why they were forced to move so quickly. The lack of honesty between the parents and the children though it protects them from the less pleasant attributes of the world it also makes them naïve which can prove to be a deterrent as they grow older. Another piece of evidence proving the unreliability of the narrator is the way he or she views owning a house of his or her own.
The thought that, “…not having to pay rent, not sharing a yard, and being able to be as loud as they want” (Cisneros), shows an immature point of view as those things are not what proves to be important when owning a house. By believing such trivial things are the main things behind owning the dream home it is setting expectations way too high for the future. By making young children think that winning the lottery and having their dream home is a possibility it opens the door for future disappointment every time until they finally do get that ‘perfect home’ and that’s just a slim possibility anyways.
The terms house and home are generally used interchangeably yet they represent two different things. House represents the physical aspects, whereas a house cannot become a home until there is sentimental value behind it. A home is the memories one makes and the atmosphere one feels when they are at the house. The ‘dream house’ spoken of in the narrative only discusses the physical attributes, what the parents are not telling the children is that any house can become a home with the right family in it to make a loving atmosphere and create good memories.
The thought that having a house like the one on tv will solve all their problems is hard to believe because the house does not make the family, the family makes the house into a home. All the media and stereotypical views fill the heads of the youth today with so many unrealistic expectations that will do nothing but hinder their happiness as they chase the so called ‘American Dream”. The children’s lack of knowledge gives them a very skewed perception regarding the functioning of the world, it is understandable that parents wish to protect their children from the less pleasant aspects but too much shelter can lead to worse outcomes.
Children cannot grow up thinking that materialistic objects can make or break their lives, having the picture house that one sees on television is not all it is cracked up to be. Children who are brought up in a home realize the importance of more sentimental attributes as opposed to the physical ones, because the sentimental values can bring happiness for years to come. The stereotypical perfect life complete with white picket fence and a sprawling green lawn with a big house does not define perfection, perfection is felt differently between everyone.