House on Mango Street

House on Mango Street
Chapter 1-The House on Mango Street
?The way she said it made me feel like nothing.?

It is hard for me to understand that some people have to live in poverty, and small run down houses without running water and such. When I read this quote I could just imagine a little girl sitting up looking at the nun in her tattered clothes and saying..yes this is where I live. I can just imagine her feeling like she is nothing compared to others.Chapter 2-Hairs
?But my mothers hair, my mothers hair, like little rosettes, like little candy circles all curly and pretty because she pinned it in pincurls all day, 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.?

When she mentioned her mothers hair it flashed to a time when I was braiding my mothers hair. It seems that all women have a special scent in their hair, and it really is a warm scent one that makes you feel safe. The qote reminds me of a time in my childhood coming home from school and my mother making cookies for us.

Chapter 3-Boys & Girls
?And since she comes right after me, she is my responsibility.?

I always thought I would never want a little sister, because of such a huge burden. But tables turned and I now have a god-sister. Ever since then me and her have gotten really close. I really enjoy her company, and she is just like my real sister. She is usually over at our house more then any of my friends come over. In a way I do take responsibility for her. She is around me a lot, and I know that I can?t set a bad example. I think she might look up to me, and for that I feel responsible for her care.

Chapter 4-My Name
?I would?ve liked to have known her, a wild horse of a woman, so wild she wouldn?t marry.?

My aunt reminds me of Esperanza?s great grandmother. She has married once, but then soon divorced. She is very creative and very talented, but she never seems to settle down. She moves from job to job?never deciding what she wants to be. I have always thought of her as my favorite aunt because of her happiness. Every year I see her, and she always seems to be living the life that she wants. She just reminds me of someone who is wild and free.

Chapter 5-Cathy Queen of Cats
?You want a friend, she says.?

This quote reminds me of me when I was a little girl. I was so naive about things, and I always thought everything would go my way. I think of me back on the first day of first or second grade talking to new kids. I would probably have said something like??hey you can be my friend.? Now I know it doesn?t work that way, you don?t just choose your friends by looking at them.

Chapter 6-Our Good Day
?I have two new friends and a bike too.?

I really think that when Esperanza said that, she didn?t care what Cathy thought. She just wanted some friends, and to have a bike too, well that was even better. Esperanza didn?t just follow Cathys lead, she was her own person and wanted to do what she liked.

Chapter 7-Laughter
?Look at that house, I said, it looks like Mexico.?

Esperanza doesn?t associate homes with her shame or independence. She associates them with family bonds, and heritage. Esperanza doesn?t just look at a run down house and think of it as a crummy home. She thinks of it as someones home. Where a family has shared memories in it. She relates her time in Mexico to homes.

Chapter 8-Gil?s Furniture Bought & Sold
?It?s like all of a sudden he let go a million moths all over the dusty furniture and swan-neck shadows and in our bones.?

Esperanza is a very creative girl. Every word she uses to describe something is so imaginative and deep. The music in a way brings out her colorful and unique side. It took me a while to think about what the quote meant. But I really think that she is relating the music?s depth to moths. And It is let go all of a sudden and it?s everywhere in the room. The shadows on the wall, the dusty furniture, and then it creeps inside of her.

Chapter 9-Meme Ortiz
?Down at the base of the tree, the dog with two names barks into the empy air, and there at the end of the block, looking smaller still, our house with its feet tucked under like a cat.?

It?s almost like Esperanza is explaining that she sees her house with a feeling of comfort and warmth. When she said with its feet tucked under, it just made me feel like her house was almost about to fall apart and that the feet are just barely holding the rest of the house together. But Esperanza, I think is happy with it, maybe she has some shame in it because she is poor, but otherwise I think she is happy to have a family to come back to whenever she is in need.

Chapter 10-Louie, His Cousin & His Other cousin
?We each had to sit with one of Louie?s little sisters on our lap, but that was okay.?

Esperanza is really grateful for anything that she gets to do. She got in the yellow cadillac without questioning. She finds the best parts of life and uses them. She goes through much hardship yet still enjoys her life. Even the neighbors enjoy the ride in the Cadillac. The whole neighborhood seems to just act as one big family, everyone just meshes.

Chapter 11-Marin
?But next year Louie?s parents are going to send her back to her mother with a letter saying she?s too much trouble, and that is too bad because I like Marin.?

Marin is weak, she think she cannot make a living on her own, and so she thrives on men. She wants to be whisked away by her prince charming and live in a huge house away from Mango Street. On the other hand Esperanza wants to make a livnig on her own and find a house on her own. When Esperanza said that Marin would be leaving the next year, it told me that Esperanza doesn?t look at Marin as a ro-model. She does know a lot of things about boys, but she can?t support herself. Marin just relies on everyone else.

Chapter 12-Those Who Don?t
?Those who don?t know any better come into our neighborhood scared. They Think we?re dangerous.?

Esperanza realizes that most people feel secure in their own race. She also feels secure when her race is with her. If she was to step into a white neighborhood, she would feel scared also. No matter who you are, you always feel the unfimiliarity in another racial neighborhood.

Chapter 13-There was an Old Woman She Had So Many Children She Didn?t Know What to Do
?They are without respect for all things living, including themselves.?

I don?t think that they really mean to not respect people, I?m sure that if they grew up in a supportive family, one that had time to take care of them all they would know how to respect things, and themselves. I think most of it is because that they didn?t get the opportunities that most children do. People think that they are just little rotten children, but I think really they are just insecure in many ways and just need some time and help.

Chapter 14-Alicia who Sees Mice
?And anyway, a woman?s place is sleeping so she can wake up early with the tortilla star, the one that appears early just in time to rise and catch the tub, under the swollen floorboards nobody fixes, in the corner of your eyes.?

I think that Alicia?s father thinks that a good education shouldn?t be wasted on a women, and that women should only be basically servants. I don?t think he means to treat her like she is only but a servant, but I think back then it was all women ever did. I think Alicia is doing the right thing by standing up and taking the opportunities she has, and using them wisely. Even though she goes out and study?s she is still at home helping her father. She deserves admiration and support from everyone.

Chapter 15-Darius and the Clouds
?Still, we take what we can get and make the best of it.?
?That?s god, Darius said.?

I think that these two quotes relate. This whole neighborhood lives in run-down houses, and don?t have much money. Yet they do make the best of it. And Darius, a kid who acts like a stupid fool, pointed out to everyone that god is up there watching all of them. Even though the neighborhood doesn?t have everything they do have god to protect them. The sky surrounds everything so it?s almost like their shelter.

Chapter 16-And Some More
?And clouds got at least ten different names, I say.?

All of the girls are using the clouds as their entertainment in this chapter. I remember when I was a kid, I used to go out on sunny days when there was some overcast and look at the sky. I used to think the clouds were mashed potatoes. Sometimes I would make shapes out of them, and they would be dinosaurs, and unicorns etc?I really thought it was entertaining.

Chapter 17-The Family of Little Feet
?We are tired of being beautiful.?

Those highheels seemed to bring trouble with them. When they walked by the bum he offered to give her a dollar for a kiss. I think that when the girls put on the highheels they felt a sense of being older and wanted to experiment. One man said to take them off because they are dangerous. And in a way, when women where highheels, they are expressing maturity. I think each girl felt more confident when they put on the shoes, because they felt older, and prettier.

Chapter 18- A Rice Sandwich
?The Special kids, the ones who wear keys around their necks, get to eat in the canteen.?

Esperanza thinks that the kids who eat in the canteen are special, and that they have it better then her. I think it?s funny because if I could, I would want to go home and eat. I think Esperanza finds out that just because it looks like fun doesn?t mean it is fun. I also think that after the nun told her she lived to close that she was humiliated and didn?t want to return even if she could. I think that when the nun made her point at her house it made her feel like nothing, and that if she could just eat in the canteen maybe, she cold be ?special.?

Chapter 19-Chanclas
?And Uncle spins me, and my skinny arms bend the way he taught me, and my mother watches, and my little cousins watch, and the boy who is my cousin by first communion watches, and everyone says, wow, who are those two who dance like in the movies, until I forget that I am wearing only ordinary shoes, brown and white, the kind my mother buys each year for school.?

I think that it?s so cute how Esperanza just forgets about her old shoes. Her uncle made her feel so pretty. I think that Esperanza is really excited because she is getting older, and more mature, and when the boy was watching her dance and gazing at her she felt just like a women. I think during each chapter she gets more mature. I can kind of think how she feels with her old shoes. One time I got this really nice dress for a dance, and I totally forgot that I didn?t have shoes to wear with it, and so my mom and me ran out to buy some. They didn?t have really any that matched my dress so we had to get ones that didn?t match. It ended up that I got to the dance and everyone was taking their shoes off. So I took them off and danced barefoot.

Chapter 20-Hips
?They Bloom like roses, I continue because it?s obvious I?m the only one who can speak with authority; I have science on my side.?

Esperanza is so independent and strong. In a way they do bloom like roses. There was also another quote that made me think. ?Ready to take you where?? This quote just leaves me thinking. Because hips do so much for a women. They give you a nice figure, and totally add to almost everything you do in a day. Each girl ends up getting them sometime or another, and when they do they really have started to grow into a women.

Chapter 21-The First Job
?I thought I would because he was so old and just as I was about to put my lips on his cheek, he grabs my face with both hands and kisses me hard on the mouth and doesn?t let go.?

I can?t believe that man took advantage of Esperanza. It just makes me so mad I want to scream! Esperanza will obviously never forget about that day because of the shame and guilt she must have felt. If I were in that situation I?m sure I would have thought maybe that I might have gave him the idea that I was older, or something like that. She was victimized because she was a nice young girl and sought out for a friend. I just can?t believe he would do that to her. This chapter almost makes me hate this book, because I know it won?t explain more on this.

Chapter 22-Papa Who Wakes Up Tired in the Dark
?Because I am the oldest, my father has told me first, and not it is my turn to tell the others.?

Esperanza is so good at taking responsiblity, she just understands so quickly, and she is very sharp. She seems like she could just leave her family right then and there and go out and make a living of her own, and find a nice house. But then as the chapter goes on it explains how she holds and holds her father. She is still so young I think, and she is not totally ready. She is still attached to her family. I think this is my favorite chapter so far. She has gone through so much, and she is still really strong about everything and keeps her head up high.

Chapter 23-Born Bad
?You must keep writing. It will keep you free, and I said yes, but at that time I didn?t know what she meant.?

Esperanza?s poem totally relates to her life. She talks about jumping out of her skin, being free of burden of her family. She can take off and do as she feels and make her own life and not have to follow everyone elses expectations. Then she says ?I?ll shake the sky like a hundred violins.? How creative, she really does have a talent for writing and as sick as her aunt may be, she can see it. Writing can take Esperanza anywhere she dreams, and in that case it can take her to her future. I think through a couple more chapters Esperanza will realize what her aunt means about keeping free through her writing.

Chapter 24-Elenita, Cards, Palm, Water
?Ah, yes, a home in the heart. I see a home in the heart.?

I think that this means that Esperanza might not be really looking for a house, but maybe to find her self. Because I think that a home is full of love, and trust and value, and if it is inside of her heart then all of that would come together to create maybe her own unique self. In many ways she already has her own creativness and uniqueness, but i?m sure she might not see it yet and might be searching. I think Esperanza might think she wants a home, but really just wants somewhere to express her individuality, and her independence.

Chapter 25-Geraldo No Last Name
?The ones he left behind are far away, will wonder, shrug, remember.?

You can?t help but wonder, how would Geraldo?s family feel. If he really was supporting his family by sending them money orders and they did stop being sent. How would his family take that? Then they would find out that he died. I think maybe Geraldo got into some bad situations trying to get money and maybe that he brought his fate upon himself. I don?t think someone would just kill him because they felt like it, but because of something he might have stolen, or borrowed, etc?I think this chapter concentrates more on Marin then Esperanza. Even though Esperanza is telling the reader about what happened, I feel the most sympathy for Marin, because she has to live with all of that.

Chapter 26-Edna?s Ruthie
?One day I memorized all of The Walrus and the Carpenter because I wanted Ruthie to hear me.?

I think Esperanza really looks up to Ruthie as someone to trust, and as her ro-model. Ruthie really enjoys books just like Esperanza, and Ruthie also used to write childrens books, and just as Esperanza?s aunt said, she does have a talent for writing and to keep it up. I think that Ruthie is a very special person and can really help Esperanza in many ways. When Esperanza said that she wanted Ruthie to hear her, I think that Esperanza really wants attention from Ruthie, because she is older and also more experienced in a lot of different areas, where as Esperanza is just learning about.

Chapter 27-The Earl of Tennessee
?Whenever she arrives, he holds her tight by the crook of the arm. They walk fast into the apartment, lock the door behind them and never stay long.?

I think that this quote is really sad and demeaning to women. Just how Esperanza explains that he holds her tightly by the crook of the arm sounds so overpowering. That only Earl can control his wife and she doesn?t control her own life. I think that their marriage is ruined and destroyed and maybe Earl is just trying to throw it together. I think it just makes it worse though that the whole neighborhood gossips about it and shares it among their daily chat. It?s really sad though, that there are so many people like that in our world, and that a lot of people have to live like that, or live around it.

Chapter 28-Sire
?Sire. How did you hold her? Was it? Like this? And when you kissed her? Like this??
?Everything is holding its breath inside me. Everything is waiting to explode like Christmas. I want to be all new and shiny. I want to sit bad at night, a boy around my neck and the wind under my skirt.?

I am so glad that I have to read this book. It?s actually really good. I think this chapter is really cute, because Esperanza is dreaming to see what it?s like to be with a boy. Even if he?s a bad one, and he?s a total punk. She just wants to let loose and see how it feels to be Lois. Even if her mother tells her that Lois is not a girl she would want to be. I think that Esperanza is just going through a stage where she wants to try other things. She might be a very mature girl and want to make a lot of good decisions but maybe there is another side of her that just wants go to totally all out bad. It?s weird to think that almost every girl goes through that stage.

Chapter 29-Four Skinny Trees
?Keep, keep, keep, trees say when I sleep.?

Whenever Esperanza is down, and is giving up on her dreams she looks at these four trees. And in a way they do resemble her. These four trees that are frail, and probably don?t get the much of care. And they grow each day just like her, and they get taller and taller, and grow deeper and deeper into the ground. One part in this chapter Esperanza said that her sister Nenny wouldn?t appreciate the tree?s strength because, I don?t think she?s yet old enough. I think Nenny really looks up to Esperanza and that one day she will be just like her. I think the keep, keep, keep part is meaning that keep trying, and dreaming when she sleeps.

Chapter 30-No Speak English
?This is home. Here I am and here I stay. Speak English. Speak English. Christ!?

I think it must be so hard for Mamacita to adapt to America. She must have been so attached to her native country, and even her dialect. Everything that is in America is different from Mexico to her. And for her son to start speaking english must be even harder for her. She can?t even understand her own son speaking. I can just imagine her frustration and anger when he runs around singing the pepsi commercial in english. All she wants to do is preserve the last of her culture. I think she will end up learning English though, because her son has worked all these years to make her happy, and to keep her living probably. It would be nice if she learned for her older son.

Chapter 31-Rafaela Who Drinks Coconut & Papaya Juice on Tuesdays
?And always there is someone offering sweeter drinks, someone promising to keep them on a silver string.?

I think that this quote means that there are other men for Rafaela. I would hate to be married and not be able to do anything because my husband was worried that I would run away. What kind of a marriage is that? He just doesn?t trust her to be faithful. It?s sad because she is treated like a caged animal. She has no rights. But to taste papya drinks, and coconut it lets her dream of back when she was youthful, and didn?t have her obligations to attend to. Or should I say her husbands.

Chapter 32-Sally
?Do you wish your feet would one day keep walking and take you far away from Mango Street, far away an maybe your feet would stop in front of a house, a nice one with flowers and big windows and steps for you to climb up two by two upstairs to where a room is waiting for you.?

Esperanza thinks that if only Sally could get away from her real family that everything will be alright for her, and that if she could live by herself she could be free to love and dream and express her self. But, I don?t think it is actally like that. I think that Sally lives in a household where she is taught that women cannot live without a mans judgement or power. And for this, Sally might not ever escape to live out in the real world on her own.

Chapter 33-Minerva Writes Poems
?Next week she comes over black and blue and asks what can she do? Minerva. I don?t know which way she?ll go. There is nothing I can do.?

I hate this chapter. I absolutely hate it. It?s reality though. There is of course nothing Esperanza can do for her. Because Minerva keeps letting her husband walk right back in and step on her. When he says he is sorry she believes him and lets him back in. When he beats her he says he is sorry and she believes him. So she lets him right back in again. I spit in his face. It?s so disgusting how Minerva?s husband treats her. Esperanza can only try and give her options of things she can do, but really she can?t just solve Minervas problem. Minerva is the only one with the power to end her marriage and carry on about her life and raise her children.

Chapter 34-Bums in the Attic
?One day I?ll own my own house, but I won?t forget who I am or where I came from.?

She is so smart, and thoughtful. Yea, she?s going to make something of herself, and have a nice house, but no she won?t flaunt her money or her house. Because she will remember herself, as a child always wanting a nice house, and to live in a nice neighborhood where the sky isn?t so gray, and the clouds are so dark, and the grass isn?t so yellow, and the houses are so shabby and uninviting. To think that she?ll have bums in her house, in the attic. It?s really nice, you don?t know about to many people with bums living in their attics.

Chapter 35-Beautiful & Cruel
?I am one who leaves the table like a man, without putting back the chair or picking up the plate.?

I think Esperanza is figuring out who she is and what she wants to be. She is finding her identity, and is searching for a way to express it. She doesn?t care about anyones expectations for her, except her own. And in one part of the chapter she says: ?but I have decided not to grow up tame like the others who lay their necks on the threshold waiting for the ball and chain.? Like so many others they have done that. They have waited for a man to whisk them away to find happiness, but all they find is slavery. They are servants to men. They cook for them. They do their laundry. Yet they are sent to their rooms where they stay until they need them once more again to do something for them. Esperanza has started her own quiet war which is to challenge society.

Chapter 36-A Smart Cookie
?I was a smart cookie then.?

This is a good lesson for Esperanza. Because she is telling her not to just to depend on a man. She should stay in school and work hard and make her own living. Mama also warns Esperanza about shame. It?s a bad thing. Even Esperanza knows this, because she feels a lot of it about her house, and her neighborhood. Esperanza?s mom knows how there are low expectations for their sex, race, and class and she doesn?t want Esperanza to feel them, so she does tell her about why she quit school, because she didnt? have nice clothes.

Chapter 37-What Sally Said
?Just because I?m a daughter, and then she doesn?t say.?

I can?t believe that, just because she?s a girl, and not a boy. And it goes back to the chapter about Minerva. Except this time it?s about a father abusing a daughter, not a husband abusing his wife. Then when she says that he only beats her the hardest when she is with boys. It?s even more horrible. To live in a house like that with such abuse, it?s not worth it. To be living with a ball and chain attached to your leg. It?s like your always being watched. ?Until the way Sally tells it, he just went crazy, he just forgot he was her father between the buckle and the belt.? That?s disgusting, and no one should have to live like that.

Chapter 38-The Monkey Garden
?They all looked at me as if I was the one that was crazy and made me feel ashamed.?

I feel so bad for Esperanza, because she is so much more mature then other kids and they just don?t realize. Esperanza is facing the fact that she won?t let things like that slide by. She can?t just let her friends kiss boys to get their way. It doesn?t work like that anymore. They were Sally?s keys not anyone elses. Why did she have to do something to get what she owned back. I don?t think that Sally should have done that. It was stupid of her, and yet I can understand maybe why she would have done it.

Chapter 39-Red Clowns
?I didn?t want it, Sally.? ?Why didn?t you hear me when I called?? ?Sally, make him stop.? ?You?re a liar.?

All of those quotes show an example of what Esperanza was feeling. She was all alone. She was lost, and nobody could help her from their abuse. She was helpless in the case, and not even Sally could help her. And then Sally told her how it would be to get her first kiss, but not for Esperanza. Esperanza was taken advantage of by a group of stupid boys. She didn?t deserve it at all. It makes me really mad also because when the guy said ?I love you, Spanish girl.? It didn?t just hurt her as a woman, but as her own culture and identity.

Chapter 40-Linoleum Roses
?She says she is in love, but I think she did it to escape.?

I agree totally. To be in love before 8th grade seems very weird to me. I have heard of it, but I can?t believe it. I think Sally just wanted to escape from her abusive father, and her terrible life. But, marrying at such a young age, what troubles could she face later? Her husband doesn?t let her do much now. She can?t go outside, can?t look out the window, can?t let friends over. Later on in life she will face just as many troubles as she did when she was living with her father and mother.

Chapter 41-The Three Sisters
?You must remember to come back.?

I?m so happy now because I know that Esperanza?s wish will come true. Even though Esperanza will have a nice house and everything she dreams of, she will always be tied down by her heritage, and she will always have to come back to mango street to see the others that didn?t have it so easy to leave. I know that when Esperanza finally finds herself and her identity and gets a new home by herself, I know that she?ll never forget her family, or Mango street, or even her friends. She might have shame for her house and her neighborhood, but definitely not the people inside it.

Chapter 42-Alicia & I talking on Edna?s Steps
?Like it or not you are Mango Street, and one day you?ll come back too.?

As much as Esperanza doesn?t want to admit it, she?s got to know it?s the truth. It?s her family, her heritage. Her home. Esperanza says that when the mayor comes to make it better she will come back. But really, the mayor? You can?t just undo the time that you live somewhere, it just stays with you forever, because you have memories with it. I actually wonder if maybe Esperanza will end up living in Mango Street, in her own house?

Chapter 43-A House of My Own
?Only a house quiet as snow, a space for myself to go, clean as paper before the poem.?

I really think that Esperanza will grow up to be a writer, she is so good at expressing herself. Well I know that it?s really the author that does all this, but speaking as if Esperanza was the author, she is really good at expressing her thoughts and oppinions. And in one part of the chapter she says she wold fill her house with special things like flowers and pillows on the porch, books and stories. It?s her dream of finding serene bliss, and happiness. Her own independence. ?Quiet as snow? and ?Clean as paper.?

Chapter 44-Mango Says Goodbye Sometimes
?One day I will pack my bags of books and paper.?

And one day she will. I?m really sad that the book has ended. I really liked it. I know that Esperanza will indead leave Mango Street, but there is so much emotion in it that she will soon have to visit back. Esperanza is such a strong willed person, and she can?t stay in Mango Street forever. She needs to be out and living her own life, pursuing her dreams. Then it says that Esperanzas true reason for wanting to move away from Mango Street is so she can come back for the others that cannot make it out on their own. ?They will not know I have gone away to come back. For the ones I left behind. For the ones who cannot out.?
I love this book!

House on Mango Street 8.4 of 10 on the basis of 1547 Review.