The House on Mango Street Study Guide

The House on Mango Street Study Guide

Original title:
The House on Mango Street
Published April 3rd 2009 by Vintage (first published 1984)
Chicago, Illinois(United States)
ISBN 0679734775 (ISBN13: 9780679734772)

Sandra Cisneros wrote “The House on Mango Street” in 1984. Even though many of you already imagine a nice house on a calm and pretty Mango Street – the book is nothing like that. The book is a compilation of colorful characters each of whom encounters the poverty, exile, humiliation, shame, restrictions and hard work.

The protagonist of the book is a young girl Esperanza Cordero who grows up in a poor Latin neighborhood. She is determined to leave behind her Hispanic friends and find a better life somewhere else. But she promises herself that once she made it in life, she will return and get her friends out as well.

The honesty of the girl is striking. She dares to open up about her expectations, fears, and weaknesses. She tells the readers how she used to lie about being poor, pretending to live in a different place, hides her clothes and tries to seem somebody she actually isn’t. The girl tells about the aggression she met in life, both sexual and physical.

She isn’t alone in her troubles, there are other girls at school who just like Esperanza suffer from abuse, beating at home and having no prospects in life. Esperanza is fortunate to have a mother who taught her not to rely on men and not to wait for good things to happen. She takes her things and leaves in pursuit of a better life.

The style of the book is unexpected. Instead of a plain narrative, the author employs vignettes that are somewhat like poems. The plot changes quickly from one idea to the other and reminds a distracted mind of a teenager. Explore a novel that is pleasant to read and also motivational to observe a great personal progress of a character.

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