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The House on Mango Street (pgs. 3-13)
Transcript of The House on Mango Street (pgs. 3-13)
Two New Characters
(1) Cathy: She agrees to be Esperanza's friend for only a few days .
She reveals that the neighborhood is getting worse. She makes Esperanza feel even worse by making her think the neighborhood becomes worse every time people like Esperanza keep moving in.
(2) Esperanza's Great-Grandmother: She was forced into her marriage and spent her entire life looking out of the window.
She teaches Esperanza to NOT inherit her grandmother's place by the window (aka being controlled by someone and living unhappily).
(1) "I would like to baptize myself under a new name, a name more like the real me, the one nobody sees" (11).
Esperanza almost fears life because of the name she inherited. The name becomes a symbol to her -- if she inherits the name, she will inherit her grandmother's unhappy, oppressed life.
Esperanza's mother's hair is "sweet to put your nose into when she is holding you, holding you and you feel safe, is the warm smell of bread before you bake it, is the smell when she makes room for you on her side of the bed still warm with her skin, and you sleep near her, the rain outside falling and Papa snoring" (7).
This passage reveals the comfort Esperanza feels around her family. She seems to live in a loving atmosphere despite the hardships around her.
5 Summary Points
(1) Esperanza moves to a house on Mango Street, and it is not the dream house she had envisioned.
(2) Esperanza is embarrassed after the nun points out Esperanza's ugly house; this is the motivation she needs to yearn for a nice house she could one day call her own.
(3) Esperanza is longing for friendship.
(4) Esperanza does not like her name; she was named after her grandmother who experienced an unhappy life and marriage.
(5) Cathy reveals that the neighborhood is getting worse.
Personification: "It's small and red with tight steps in front and windows so small you'd think they were holding their breath" (4).
Simile: "My Papa's hair is like a broom, all up in the air" (6).
Metaphor: "Until then I am a red balloon, a balloon tied to an anchor" (9).
Esperanza seems to exhibit many fears in this section:
she will be stuck on Mango Street and never have a nice house;
she won't be able to make friends (she actually asks Cathy to be her friend)
she will live an unhappy, oppressed life because she believes her name (her grandmother's name) defines her