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Writing Style of The House on Mango Street

Updated on October 2, 2012

My Attempt at Writing in the Same Style as The House on Mango Street

Sitting outside a burger place, smiling and laughing in the harsh yellow light. My ears still ringing, my sister standing on the seat, screaming at the bug. Her short, blonde hair, jagged and cute, and me wishing my hair was that cute. Sam was screaming too, and me amused at their screams.

Then the boys came, and they had come from the concert too. Them showing us pictures on their phones and are you eighteen yet? and us saying no. They bowed out, laughing, and we waited outside in the night, me wishing I was the reason they’d come over to talk, wishing I was as cute as my sister.

Eating our burgers and my dad had joined us again and me thinking about the concert and how cute that singer was and how I wished I was as cute as my sister so he might have looked at me. Sitting there gazing at my sister, wishing I was that cute.


I was falling in more ways than one. Literally, my body was falling through the air, the wheels of the skateboard slipping out from under me. My weight fell backwards but his arms were there around me, strong and exactly where I wanted to be. His torso was bare and tan, slightly sweaty, his hair shaggy and his teeth crooked, his accent foreign and his voice musical. He was everything I wanted those three summers, and everything I couldn’t have.

He lifted me up and I gazed into his chocolate eyes, so cautiously friendly. I knew I had almost made it that time, and I’d only fallen so he would catch me. The shame of my desire burned like a flame in my chest.

You almost had it that time, he says, and his arms are gone. I walk away and my heart sinks like a stone in the lake of my sadness. I wish anything was different. That man was perfect.


Me, bright as a star on that stage in the lights. My boy by my side, our fingers interlaced. The gleam of his smile and the twinkle in his eyes. The smile lines really come out when he smiles like that.

The gold heavy around my neck, the cameras flashing a million miles an hour. All those eyes on me, and my spirit soaring. My coach a proud man to the side, my mom standing amazed, and my boy’s fingers tightening around mine. We smile for the pictures and the world is mine. My boy and I shining like stars, the gleam of our gold, and we are alone in our night sky. We are the sun, burning hot and bright and his fingers tightening. My fingers tighten back and his crooked smile. We own the world, if only for a night.


I came home alone that day. The letter was lying on the counter. A million hopes and dreams. All wrapped up in a little piece of paper.

I know they left it for me to find.

My mom with her thin, graying hair. My dad with his still-young physical fitness. The letter lonely in my hand. I rip it open. My heart is pounding. All my heard work, wrapped up in a little piece of paper.

The envelope is thick. Already I know I’m in. My mom will be so happy. Her pressure, her pride, her expectations. The woman who worked for Stanford. Her daughter’s life in an envelope. The woman who taught me to read. The woman so proud of my grades.

Congratulations, it says, and I know my mom will be proud.


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