Free Study Guide for The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros|
THE HOUSE ON MANGO STREET BY SANDRA CISNEROS
Lucy and Rachel
Sisters who always appear together, they are mischievous and brash, and donít care much what other people think of them, which is why Esperanza likes them. Together, the girls have many adventures.
An intelligent and caring homemaker, Esperanzaís mother is disappointed in herself for not continuing with her education, because she feels she could have made more of her life. She tries to make sure her daughter does not make the same mistake.
Esperanza greatly admires her friend Sally, who is beautiful and knows how to control boys, and seems too exotic for Mango Street. But gradually, Esperanza realizes that Sally is not as independent as she pretends to be.
Esperanza, the protagonist, has no real antagonist except, perhaps,
herself. The story concerns her journey to maturity. Conflicts in the
story often arise because of Esperanzaís misunderstanding of herself.
For example, she makes fun of her sick aunt, then realizes how much she
values her auntís friendship, and feels terrible about what she has done.
Her shyness is another aspect of her immaturity that forces conflict upon
her: she wants to be like bolder girls she knows, who have secret meetings
with boys, but does not have the courage. Additionally, Esperanza must
mature enough to discover her own identity, and understand how the Mango
Street she hates so much fits into her life.
The climax comes toward the end of the book, when Esperanza realizes
she does not want to imitate any of her friends, opting instead to be
her own person. At the same time, she meets the Three Sisters, mysterious
aunts of her friends Lucy and Rachel, who tell Esperanza that she is special,
and that she must return to Mango Street for the people she leaves behind
once she gets out.
The resolution occurs in the very last chapter, when Esperanza internalizes the words of the Sisters and decides once and for all that she will finally find her way out of Mango Street, energized by her writing, as she has always wanted. Perhaps more significantly, she now understands the importance of returning, as a way of acknowledging her strength, and the part Mango Street plays in her identity.
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. 09 May 2017