The two stories "The House on Mango Street" by Sandra Cisneros and "My First Kill" by Art Coelho are each personal narratives, written in the first-person and telling of some event of importance to the author. The narrators in each case are young people experiencing a revelation in their lives
In the stories of Sandra Cisneros, themes, characters, images, and symbols recur from one story to the next. Her characters are close to the earth in many ways, living sensuous lives that link them to nature, to the progression of time in history, to centuries of human development, and to the aspirations of a people. Her stories are often narrated by a woman who observes the world from her female point of view, but that point of view is linked in different ways to central issues of history and the development of Mexican culture. This is true in "The House on Mango Street" in a somewhat different way in that the young girl represents the aspirations of her people as she realizes how little they have now and how much she wants to be like other people.
Cisneros and her narrator are urban in orientation, at least in this story, while Coelho writes from a rural perspective. The girl in Cisneros's story and the boy in Coelho's story each experience a new understanding as they grow up, and this understanding will change their outlook after this.
The language in each case is simple and direct, but it is also expressive and brings out the nature of each character and his or her view of the world. In the opening lines, Cisneros shows the kind of life the family has been leading, moving from place to place. For the girl, the hope is always that a move will lead to improvement, to a better place to live and so to a better life: "But what I remember most is moving a lot" (Cisneros 223). The family grows as it moves, with new births adding children: "By the time we got to Mango Street we were six--Mama, Papa, Carlos, Kiki, my sister Ne...