Together with her family-Mama, Papa, Carlos, Kiki and her sister Nenny-she has recently moved to Mango Street, where she finds the house that her family owns to be most definitely not the house of her dreams. The book traces Esperanza's struggle to realize her fondest hopes Esperanza's name means "hope" in Spanishand to establish her own unique identity. Mama is the primary figure of strength and stability in Esperanza's family, even though she believes her life is largely one missed opportunity.
This makes sense because the book is really about her, and the changes in her life over the year she lives on Mango Street. She begins as a shy, lonely, introverted girl who has no friends and often fears what people will think of her. Her father is Mexican and her mother is Mexican-American.
The family moves often, and this book concerns the year they spend in a Hispanic neighborhood in Chicago. Dreamy and romantic, and sometimes finding it difficult to fit in, she dreams about what it would be like to have friends and a boyfriend.
She is close to her family, often taking care of her younger sister Nenny and maintaining a warm relationship with her parents. She is also very interested in writing, something that is not often discussed directly in the book but is important nonetheless.
Slowly, she realizes that writing is what will keep her strong and independent. This is very important to her, because she worries about how to remain her own person in a community that often forces women to stay home with children and submit to their husbands. Writing is part of her identity, something she searches for throughout the book.
She is dissatisfied with the lives women in her neighborhood generally lead, but is often unsure of what kind of future she wants for herself. She leans toward several different options, identifying herself with the boisterous Lucy and Rachel, the intelligent and demure Alicia, and the sultry, rebellious Sally.
Finally, she decides that what she really wants is to be independent, and to have her own place to write. She tells us about the many different times she has moved, and that she has always wanted a house--but not a house like this one, which is too small and sad.
This wish for a house will follow Esperanza throughout the book. When she arrives there she is lonely and shy, and so is very attuned to the people around her. She describes the way her two younger brothers avoid her and her younger sister Nenny Magdalena when they are outside, but are friendly when no one is watching.
She reveals her insecurity when she tells us how much she hates her name, which means hope in English, and "too many letters" in Spanish.
Though she stayed with him, she was unhappy for the rest of her life, and Esperanza is afraid of ending up like her. Esperanza meets Cathy, who tells her her opinion about everyone in the neighborhood.
Cathy promises Esperanza she will be her friend--until she moves away on Tuesday. Cathy is clearly pompous and judgmental, but Esperanza is desperate for companionship. Soon, though, she meets Lucy and Rachel, who remain her friends throughout the book, even though they are, according to Cathy, "raggedy as rats.
At first terrified that they will not like her and then thrilled when they do, Esperanza demonstrates in this scene the pure happiness she can sometimes feel. However, she still feels close to her family, especially Nenny, in comparison.
She and Nenny have a unique understanding of the world they see a house that they agree looks just like Mexico that Esperanza values deeply. While in a junk shop, the sisters discover a music box that plays a song so beautiful Esperanza begins to cry.
Nenny, while appreciating the music, does not understand its value and naively tries to purchase the box, which the owner says is not for sale. Esperanza is fascinated by the people in her neighborhood.
Marin, an older girl with a boyfriend in Puerto Rico, gives Esperanza tips on how to talk to boys, which impresses Esperanza, who is very shy. Rosa Vargas has so many children that the neighborhood gives up trying to take care of them, even though they are always getting into trouble. She admits, however, that the same fear and ignorance exists in her own community.
After sketching out the neighborhood in general, Esperanza begins to detail those who deviate from the norm. Alicia, for example, is studying at the university, even though she has to take care of her family since her mother is dead and she fears her father.
This is the first time the book hints at the struggle of trying to be an independent woman in that neighborhood: Alicia is successful, but she appears to pay a high price. Esperanza highlights the poetry of everyday life that sometimes appears unexpectedly. Darius, for example, a boy who is "sometimes stupid and mostly a fool," points out a cloud one day and tells the children it is God.
This strikes Esperanza as wise.
Soon after, Nenny, Rachel, Lucy and Esperanza are talking, and their discussion about the different names for clouds and snow leads to an inventive name-calling game.
With these beat-up old shoes and some imagination, the girls transform themselves into glamorous ladies, parading up and down the street, awed by the way their own legs look.
However, when a "bum man" offers Rachel a dollar to kiss him, the other girls get worried and they all decide to go home. While they enjoy the excitement of pretending to be women, they cannot yet deal with the consequences.
In another effort to appear grown-up, Esperanza decides she wants to eat in the "canteen," where kids who live too far to go home for lunch eat.
Her mother at first dislikes the idea, but then gives in.May 09, · "The House on Mango Street" is Esperanza’s story, and she tells it with humor, sadness, introspection and joy.
It begins when she first arrives at the house, a dilapidated building in a Hispanic ghetto in ’s Chicago. House on Mango Street study guide contains a biography of Sandra Cisneros, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.
About House on Mango Street House on Mango Street Summary. - The House on Mango Street At the novel's end, Esperanza declares that she is too strong for Mango Street to keep her forever. What is the nature of her strength. How does Cisneros establish this characteristic elsewhere in the book.
Detailed analysis of Characters in Sandra Cisneros's The House on Mango Street. Learn all about how the characters in The House on Mango Street such as Esperanza Cordero and Nenny Cordero contribute to the story and how they fit into the plot. The House on Mango Street: Character Profiles, Free Study Guides and book notes including comprehensive chapter analysis, complete summary analysis, author biography information, character profiles, theme analysis, metaphor analysis, and top ten quotes on classic literature.
The House on Mango Street chronicles a year in her life as she matures emotionally and sexually. The name Esperanza means “hope” in Spanish. Read an in-depth analysis of Esperanza.