No, this isn’t my house I say and shake my head as if shaking could undo the year I’ve lived here. I don’t belong. I don’t ever want to come from here.

This is Esperanza’s reply to Alicia in “Alicia & I Talking on Edna’s Steps” after Alicia insists that Esperanza does have a house, and that it is right there on Mango Street. This exchange occurs near the end of the novel, when Esperanza is realizing she does indeed belong on Mango Street. Instead of insisting that she does not belong, here she says she doesn’t want to belong, which suggests that Esperanza understands that she actually does. She has realized that she is not intrinsically different from the other women in her neighborhood. She has met other women in the neighborhood who write, women who share her desire to escape, women who are interested in boys, and women, like Alicia, who desire education. Her previous feelings of superiority and difference were only childish ways of obscuring the truth: Mango Street is part of Esperanza. No matter how far she goes, she will never truly escape it.