She recalls the time when a nun passed by her previous home in Loomis and asked her where she lived.
When Esperanza pointed to her home with “paint peeling” and “wooden bars” on windows to prevent them from falling out, the nun questioned Esperanza, “You live there?”, making Esperanza “feel like nothing” (5). The way that the nun refers to the house as “there” demonstrates how society views houses as an indicator of one’s worth in society. Esperanza’s house with “paint peeling” and “wooden bars,” flaws that can be fixed with money, causes Esperanza to “feel like nothing.” The nun prompts Esperanza to associate her self-worth to the worth of her home, forcing her to realize the social implications that come with poverty. This realization encourages her to better her life as she “knew then [she] had to have a house. A real house. One [she] could point to”.
She wants a house of her own, one that she does not feel embarrassed of having but one that makes her feel respected and proud. The use of the words “had to have” portrays Esperanza’s intense desire to own a home as a goal she must accomplish in her life, implying that she will persevere through barriers that prevent her from achieving her