The House on Mango Street The House on Mango Street question


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Double entry journal #2
Ms. Donee Ms. Donee Jan 30, 2015 10:05AM
As you read each passage, you have five tasks: First, identify who is speaking or narrating. Second, explain what the context or situation is--that is, who is involved, where s/he is, at what time, and what is going on, etc. Third, explain what the quotation means and how it is significant to the novel. Fourth, note any stylistic devices (similes, metaphors, personification, symbols, alliteration, etc.), and finally, what connections do you see between this excerpt and other vignettes in the novel (Ideas of waiting, feeling trapped, making friends, etc.) Please comment on another student's entry.



Samantha (last edited Jan 30, 2015 10:42AM ) Jan 30, 2015 10:36AM   1 vote
from "Minerva Writes Poems"

"She lets me read her poems. I let her read mine. She is always sad like a house on fire- always something wrong. She has many troubles, but the big one is her husband who left and keeps leaving. One day she is through and lets him know enough is enough. Out the door he goes. Clothes, records, shoes. Out the window and the door locked. But that night he comes back and sends a big rock through the window. Then he is sorry and she opens the door again. Same story." (84-85)

Speaker: Esperanza is narrating

Situation: Minerva, a girl two years older than Esperanza but "already has two kids and a husband who left," is distraught and has many troubles. Finally, she sends her husband away for good, making him pack up his things and leave her be. However, on the same night, he comes back to "send a big rock through the window." Thus, he apologizes and returns to his status as a husband who continues to come back then leave again.

Significance: Throughout the book, the motif of doors and windows is used to resemble freedom and character. Esperanza uses the phrase "out the window and the door locked" to refer to Minerva's husband's departure. Symbolically, the window and door describe Minerva's dignity, liberty, and life. When her husband leaves, her life is finally secure, hence the locked door. The rock thrown through the window by Minerva's husband represents him crashing back into her life, destroying it as he pleases.

Stylistic Devices: Esperanza uses figurative language to describe Minerva, comparing her to "a house on fire- always something wrong." It shows that her troubles and sadness would continue to burn, destroying the house that is her soul.

Connections: As mentioned before, the reoccurring theme of doors and windows is used constantly throughout the story. For instance, in "Rafaela Who Drinks Coconut and Papaya Juice," Rafaela is a girl trapped in her home by her husband and leans out the window, dreaming for freedom. Both Minerva and Rafaela are women who are put away by their husbands, weighed down by their sadness and troubles.

Samantha Chiang (period 3)


Karen (last edited Jan 30, 2015 10:33AM ) Jan 30, 2015 10:32AM   1 vote
From "No Speak English"

Quote: "Whatever her reasons, whether she is fat, or can't climb the stairs, or is afraid of English, she won't come down. She sits all day by the window and plays the Spanish radio show and sings all the homesick songs about her country in a voice that sounds like a seagull. Home. Home. Home is a house in a photograph... And then to break her heart forever, the baby boy, who has begun to talk, starts to sing the Pepsi commercial he heard on the T.V. No speak English, she says to the child who is singing the language that sounds like tin. No speak English, no speak English, and bubbles into tears. No, no, no, as if she can't believe her ears." (page 77-78)

Speaker: Esperanza is narrating this vignette.

Situation: Esperanza is talking about a new resident of the apartment building above her. It is a woman from a different country and her husband. She is called Mamacita, and she speaks no English, with the exception of a few, simply words. She is a very large woman, and she has a son. This son is only a baby, and he starts to repeat the lines of an American commercial. This upsets Mamacita because her son, only a baby, is learning English better than her. All she really wants is to go back to her country. She can't do much because she sits in her apartment, next to the window, all day.

Significance: A window is a symbol for opportunity and freedom. Mamacita "sits all day by the window and plays the Spanish radio show and sings all the homesick songs about her country in a voice that sounds like a seagull" because she it's as close as she'll ever get to freedom. The inside of the room confines her from the world and learning, but all she wants is to be on the other side of that window. There she can have the opportunity to learn English and be closer to her home. However, she can't. Plus, when her son started talking, she mumbled "No speak English, no speak English, and bubbles into tears. No, no, no, as if she can't believe her ears." Her son is surpassing her in their new home, and she doesn't want that to happen.

Stylistic Device. Cisneros uses symbolism and theme in this passage. The window is the window of opportunity that everyone wants to go through. Also, the theme of fitting in reoccurs when Mamacita saw heard her son speaking English. If anything, she is the one who wants to be speaking English first, and she is afraid that he will learn faster and adapt better. She doesn't speak English like the rest of the neighborhood, and she wants to go back to the place where she belongs.

Connections: In an earlier vignette, "My Name," the window is mentioned yet again. Esperanza's grandmother "looked out the window her whole life, the way so many women sit their sadness on an elbow." (11) Her grandmother was in need of freedom. Mamacita and Esperanza's grandmother are alike in the way that they're both trapped in a place that they don't want to be in.

Karen Yip
Period 3


Vincent (last edited Jan 30, 2015 06:55PM ) Jan 30, 2015 06:54PM   0 votes
The House on Mango Street, ¨My Name¨

Quote:
“In English my name means hope.’ (10)
¨I would like to baptize myself under a new name, a name more like the real me, the one nobody sees. Esperanza as Lisandra or Maritza or Zeze the X. Yes. Something like Zeze the X will do."(11)
“Esperanza, I have inherited her name, but I don’t want to inherit her place by the window.” (11)

Speaker: Esperanza is narrating

Situation: Esperanza briefly describes the meaning of her name and what it means to her, describing what her name means both in Spanish and English. She also mentions that she was given her name by her great grandmother, whose name was also Esperanza. She thinks her name contradicts her personality when she states that she would like ¨A name more like the real me.¨(11) Instead of her grandmothers given name, she prefers a different name, favorably, ¨Zeze the X¨.(11)

Significance: The vignette is slightly ironic due to the fact that most people would say that their name fits their personality. Unlike other people, Esperanza believes that she is not a ¨hope¨ (10) for her family or their future. Instead, she wants to establish her own freedom, independent from her parent's control. This is why she clearly says she ¨would like to baptize herself under a new name." She would like to change her name into something more significant to her, and a name that perfectly suits her personality. The reader can sense the disdain of her name as well when she states that she does not “want to inherit her (referring to her grandma) place by the window.” (11) Esperanza shows that she does not want to meet the same fate as her grandma, who was kidnapped by her husband and treated as a slave. She concludes that she wants a name like Martiza or Lisandra, but preferably “Zeze the X will do.” (11)

Stylistic Devices: Cisneros uses alliteration in the passage, when Esperanza quotes about desiring a new that perfectly fits her character. Esperanza’s quote, “a new name. a name.” (11) is used to establish rhythm. There is also a metaphor when she compares her name to “a muddy color.” She is basically stating that her name is a disappointment and disgusting to her like the color of mud.

Connections: There are many quotes that convinces the reader that Esperanza wants to gain her own freedom. In the first vignette, “The House on Mango Street”, she mentions how she would like to have her own house that she “could point to.” (5) In other words, she wishes to buy her own beautiful house, and pridefully point to without shame. It is no wonder, she, without hesitation, states that her house.” “Isn’t it. The house on Mango street isn’t it.” (5) As the young girl grows, she and her sister, Nenny begin spending time at a place called the Monkey Garden. There, Esperanza admits why she attempts to spend more time and hanging out there rather than at home. “Far away from where our mothers could find us,” (95) she explains. Once again, she clearly tells the readers that she wants her own independence from her parents and other people. Therefore, she visits this Monkey Garden every day to avoid her parents from crushing her desires and dreams.

Vincent Jodjana
Period 6
1/30/15


from ¨The First Job¨

¨It wasn't real easy and I guess I wouldn't have minded it except that you got tired after a while and I didn't know if I could sit down or not, and then I started sitting down only when the two ladies next to me did.¨ (54)
¨When lunchtime came, I was scared to eat alone in the company lunchroom with all those men and ladies looking,so I ate real fast standing in one of the washroom stalls and had lots of time left over, so I went back to work early."(54)
¨Oriental man said hello and we talked for a while about my just staring, and he said we could be friends and next time to go into the lunchroom and sit with him, and I felt better."(54-55)

Speaker: Esperanza is narrating this passage.

Situation: Esperanza is at the point of her life where her father thinks it is the right choice for her to help the family by working. She is still very young and is very confused about the routines at work. Esperanza feels like an outsider and has trouble fitting in with the other employees.Instead of blending in with her co-workers, she would rather continue working and prevent herself from getting in trouble. Later, she meets an old man, who she assumes to be a good friend, but realizes is not.

Significance: Esperanza is still very young and is afraid of adapting into the new environment.From her family, she is brought to the harsh world too early and is not mature enough to face difficult situations. Esperanza feels left out their life and are not like her. In addition, Esperanza is too young and assumes that old men are friendly and innocent. However, she does not know of the dangers of this world and understand the responsibilities an adult has.

Stylistic Devices: In this vignette, Cisneros uses theme to illustrate a teens trouble to adapting to a new environment. The important themes,growth and maturity are expressed in this vignette. Esperanza is not fully mature, but still has to take on the responsibilities of an adult.

Connection: The vignette,¨A Rice Sandwich¨ is very similar to this vignette. In both of these sections, Esperanza is faced with problems fitting in with others. At school, she wishes to be like others and be able to eat in the canteen with the other kids. In this vignette, Esperanza has trouble fitting in with the other employees and adapt to this new environment. The author includes this connection to show how hard it is for Esperanza to fit in with others and her struggles in society. In both of these environments, she is seen as the outcast and constantly wishes to become like the other normal people.

Amber Chen
Period 3


Derek (last edited Jan 30, 2015 02:37PM ) Jan 30, 2015 02:33PM   0 votes
"The First Job"
Quotes:
"It wasn't as if I didn't want to work. I did. I had even gone to the social security office the month before to get my social security number." (53)
"The high school cost a lot, and Papa said nobody went to public school unless you wanted to turn out bad" (53).
"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." (55).

Speaker: Esperanza is narrating

Situation: Esperanza needs to find a job so she can finance her education at the Catholic high school. She was told "nobody went to public school unless you wanted to turn out bad." (53). She is looking for an easy job like the other kids who worked "in the dime store or maybe a hotdog stand." (53). The problem was that she was not of age to work, so she had to lie. In order to go to a good school, she must lie to get a job.

Significance: Esperanza wants to become independent and leave Mango Street. She does not want to rely on a man who might leave her or be in the house all day doing housework. If she can get a good education, she can get a good job and be financially secure. To get the job, she had to go "to the social security office the month before to get (her) social security number. (She) needed money." (53). Esperanza is very serious about her job because "the Catholic high school cost a lot" (53), and she really wants to work at the company.

Stylistic Devices: The Catholic high school symbolizes Esperanza's dreams and hopes to achieve a higher education. Her education will lead her to a bright path and become independent. When the man forcefully kissed Esperanza at her workplace, it could represent the obstacles she would have to face if she wanted to go to the Catholic School.

Connection: Esperanza's youth and beauty is starting to make trouble. Like how the "bum man" (41) is seeking a kiss from Rachel in "The Family of little Feet", Esperanza is having to deal with the man who forcefully kissed her. Also, Esperanza is trying to fit in with the other kids. In "The Rice Sandwich", Esperanza asks Sister Superior to let her eat with the "special kids". Now, she is looking for "an easy job, the kind other kids had, working in the dime store or maybe a hotdog stand." (53). Esperanza has always been trying to fit in with everyone else.

Derek Wang (Period 6)


From "Beautiful & Cruel"

"In the movies there is always one with red lips who is beautiful and cruel. She is the one with red red lips who is beautiful and cruel. She is the one who drives the men crazy and laughs them all away. Her power is her own. She will not give it away. I have begun my own quiet war. Simple. Sure. I am one who leaves the table like a man, without putting back the chair or picking up the plate" (Cisneros 89).

Speaker: Esperanza is speaking.

Situation: Esperanza talks about the women in movies that are powerful and independent. She observes that those women are ones who make men inferior and have their own power. Seeing that women can achieve their own power, Esperanza starts her own rebellion. She plans to act like a man and gain power through her actions.

Significance: Esperanza finally realizes that women have their own power and that they can rise over men. She sees that in movies, there are women that are beautiful and cruel, but powerful. They keep their own power and "will not give it away". Seeing that it is possible, Esperanza gains confidence that she can be like the women in the movies, and become "the one that drives the men crazy and laughs them all away". She starts her journey of being "beautiful and cruel" at last, by first defying gender expectations of a woman. She "leaves the table like man" and does not out back the chair or pick up the plate like she is supposed to do. Esperanza finally starts the rebellion against gender expectations in society.

Stylistic devices: The "red red lips" of the woman in the movie represents power that Cisneros lets Esperanza realize. Also, when Cisneros says, "I am one who leaves the table like a man, without putting back the chair or picking up the plate", it represents the expectations of the women. Because Esperanza does not push in her chair and pick up her plate when acting like a man, Cisneros is trying to emphasize that the women were supposed to pick up after the men.

Connections: In the beginning of the novella, Cisneros already emphasizes that Esperanza does not fit into the gender expectations of women because of her rebellious nature. When Esperanza begins her own quiet war, it furthers the rebellion of her defiance against what she is expected to do in society. Also when Cisneros describes how the women are supposed to pick up after the men, it adds to the recurring motif of gender expectation in their society.

Florence Ao (Period 3)


House on Mango Street "Alicia Who Sees Mice"

Quote: "Alicia, who inherited her mama's rolling pin and sleepiness, is young and smart and studies for the first time at the university. Two trains and a bus, because she doesn't want to spend her whole life in a factory or behind an rolling pin. Is a good girl, my friend, studies all night and sees the mice, the ones her father says do not exist. Is afraid of nothing except four-legged fur. And fathers. (31-32)

Speaker: Esperanza

Situation: Esperanza is talking about her friend, Alicia who has to get up early to make the lunchbox tortillas because her mother has died. She notices how Alicia feels as trapped as she does in Mango Street and how Alicia is working hard and doing whatever she can to avoid remaining on Mango Street. Esperanza observes Alicia's daily activities and hardships that help fuel her desire to not spend her life, "in a factory or behind a rolling pin." (32)

Significance: Esperanza sees the hardships that Alicia has to endure daily and also sees how hard she works to achieve her goal of not remaining trapped forever. Alicia is not waiting for change to happen or not giving up and accepting the reality like other women on Mango Street are. She uses the hardships to drive her desires. I think that Esperanza sees this and understands how Alicia feels. Both are not willing to give up or to wait for change, they both seem to work towards the change.
Stylistic Devices: This quote is written in short sentences that seem to list all that Alicia is going though. The short and choppy sentences get straight to the point and show the readers the intention of the sentences is to list the conditions Alicia lives in. It emphasizes Esperanza's point and the will of Alicia.

Connections: Alicia, like Marin, Esperanza, Rafaela and the other women on Mango Street want to escape Mango Street. All of them seem trapped by it and want to get out. Unlike Alicia and Esperanza most of the other women have either given up or are waiting. Although they are all trapped she seems like the only one making a large effort to escape, even if it means she has to take two trains and a bus to get to school and study all nigh to get up early and make lunchbox tortillas.

Anna Yu
Period 6


From "Elenita, Cards, Palm, Water"

"She comes back and can tell I'm disappointed. She's a witch woman and knows many things. If you got a headache, rub a cold egg across your face. Need to forget an old romance? Take a chicken's foot, tie it with red string, spin it over your head three times, then burn it. Bad spirits keeping you awake? Sleep next to a holy candle for seven days, then on the eight day, spit. And lots of other stuff. Only now she can tell I'm sad."

Speaker: Esperanza is speaking.

Situation: Esperanza is desperate for help, so she seeks the advice of the witch woman/seer, Elenita. As she tries numerous methods to lift her heart, Esperanza only becomes confused by these strange actions. They don't work, but she pretends as if they do, so she ends up paying her five dollars.

Significance: Esperanza is going through numerous hardships which she feels cannot be changed with the help of anyone else in her life. Because of this, she seeks a fortune-teller, which shows her desperation for comfort. While Elenita tries multiple ways to help her, Esperanza does not feel a difference, but she tries to convince herself there is one. This vignette was meant to show Esperanza's breaking point, in which after looking for so many ways to be satisfied, she resorted to the easy way out of her situation.The quote, "She comes back and can tell I'm disappointed," shows that she consulted Elenita, knowing it was probably going to be in vain.

Stylistic devices: Cisneros implements rhetorical questions to help the reader better understand the dialogue between Esperanza is having with Elenita. This shows how Esperanza is hearing all this advice from her, but none of it helps so this conversation with the fortune-teller is a lost cause.

Connection: Esperanza is trying not to be a hypocrite. She considers girls who get married just to have money and escape their current situation as weak-willed. However, she is now facing the same conflict; either get married to an irresponsible husband in the future or continue to live in poverty. Because of this, she goes to a fortune-teller.

Sean Wang


Vignette:"My Name"

Quote:"In English my name means hope. In Spanish it means too many letters. It means sadness, it means waiting. It is like the number nine. A muddy color. It is the Mexican records my father plays on Sunday mornings when he is shaving, songs like sobbing."

Speaker:Esperanza is narrating

Situation:In the vignette Esperanza is explaining how her name in Spanish is different and causes her problems. It was her grandmothers name and her grandmother wasn't very happy with her life so she believes she will inherit her bad life as well as her name. Esperanza wishes she could changer her name so people could see the real her instead of seeing Esperanza.

Significance:Esperanza sees that names make people who they are and they can change their names in order to change who they are. Esperanza says, "I would like to baptize myself under a new name, a name more like the real me, the one nobody sees." She wants to change her name so she can become the "real her" instead of being Esperanza. She compares her own name to sad and unlucky things like the number nine and a muddy color trying to say her name is sad and unlucky.

Stylistic Devices:There are a few symbols in this vignette like Esperanza's name, the women at the window, and the year of the horse. Her name symbolizes her want of change, the women symbolize sadness and being trapped, and the year of the horse symbolizes the need for men to be stronger than women.

Connections:Esperanza like many other people wishes she could change her name and therefore change who she is because she is not content with her current life. She does not want the troubles that come with her name and wants her name to be the embodiment of who she really is.

Dylan Campos
Period 6


The House on Mango Street, "Sire"

Quote: "Everything is holding its breath inside me. Eveything is waiting to explode like Christmas. I want to be all new and shiny. I want to sit out bad at night, a boy around my neck and the wind under my skirt. Not this way, every evening talking to the trees, leaning out my window, imaging what I can't see."

Speaker: Esperanza is narrating this vignette.

Situation: Esperanza notices a boy always looking at her and when she finally looks back at him they just stare at each other. She looked back at him to prove to herself she was brave but then she couldn't stop because she realized she liked the attention he gave her. She wants to be with someone who holds her and kisses her but she knows it can't be with Sire. Sire is, "a punk" and her parents tell her not to talk to him but the way he looks at her makes her feel normal.

Significance: She wants to be free from everything and to be her own person. She wants to be one of those girls that her mother warns her not to be but at the same time she doesn't want to be like everyone else.Esperanza is sick of feeling like she doesn't belong and she just wants to feel alive.

Stylistic Device: By repeating "I want..." Esperanza makes it clear that she wants that certain but she doesn't have it. Then she talks about what she does have and she doesn't want it. This lets the reader know how she feels about what she wants.

Connection: Sire is connected to the house on mango street because they are both something Esperanza has but she doesn't feel like they are hers. She longs for things like a real home and boy who is there for her when she could have it but doesn't think the ones around her are good enough.


Hannah (last edited Jan 30, 2015 10:48AM ) Jan 30, 2015 10:46AM   0 votes
Quotation:
From "The First Job"

"I guess it was the time for the night shift or middle shift to arrive because a few people came in and punched the time clock, and an older Oriental man said hello and we talked for a while about my just starting, and he said we could be friends and next time to go in the lunchroom and sit with him, and I felt better. He had such nice eyes and I didn't feel so nervous anymore. Then he asked if I knew what day it was, and when I said I didn't, he said it was his birthday and would I please give him a birthday kiss. 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.

Response:
Speaker: Esperanza is narrating

Situation: Esperanza had just gotten a job at Peter Pan Photo Finishers where her Aunt Lala also worked. Since it was her first day she still felt nervous and lonely. When lunchtime came Esperanza did not go in
the company lunchroom because she felt that people will judge her. She also does not want to remember the past event when she had to go to the head nun because she wanted to eat in the canteen. As Esperanza's work day ends the workers for the night shift came. There was an interesting man that was fond of Esperanza. The man took advantage of Esperanza being naive and young. Esperanza did not know how to react and it showed how much Esperanza wanted to fit in.

Significance: Esperanza is shocked because the old mad had suddenly kissed her. She doesn't know what to do because she never had been kissed before. Esperanza is just new to the job and she knew if she made a scene she may get fired. Esperanza appears to be lonely because she describes the man and says, "He had nice eyes and I didn't feel so nervous anymore." As Esperanza is amazed by the old man's eyes she thinks that he can be trusted. When Esperanza said that she didn't feel nervous when the old man came, it shows that Esperanza can easily be used.

Stylistic devices: The man's eyes symbolized how naive Esperanza is. It showed that Esperanza trusts people very easily.

Connections: In this vignette Esperanza had been used to get a kiss. Throughout the other vignettes Esperanza had also been used. For example, in the vignette "Red Clowns" Esperanza had an unhappy experience at the carnival. Esperanza wants to experience the feeling of love and through out the vignettes she is having a hard time experiencing that.

Hannah San Gabriel
Period 3


ryan (last edited Jan 30, 2015 10:48AM ) Jan 30, 2015 10:46AM   0 votes
From "The Family of Little Feet"

"We are tired of being beautiful. Lucy hides the lemon shoes and the red shoes and the shoes that used to be white but are now pale blue under a powerful bushel basket on the back porch, until one Tuesday her mother, who is very clean, throws them away. But no one complains.

Speaker: Esperanza is narrating this vignette.

Situation: Esperanza, Rachel, and Lucy receive shoes from the family of little feet. They put them on and walk into the crowded streets, where the men "can't take their eyes off us [them]" (40). Mr. Benny at the grocery then threatens to call the police if they don't take off the shoes, so Esperanza, Rachel, and Lucy run away, where they meet a drunken bum. He offers Rachel a dollar if she kisses him, but they quickly run away and dispose the shoes.

Significance: After finally fitting into society, Esperanza, Rachel, and Lucy decide it's better to just be themselves. After this point, Esperanza no longer cares so immensely about her appearance and longs to fit in. When Esperanza says, "We are tired of being beautiful," she is implying that she does not want to be the "common" or "average" girl anymore.

Stylistic Devices: Sandra Cisneros uses rhyme when she writes "Their arms were little, and their hands were little, and their height was not tall, and their feet very small" (39). She also uses a metaphor when she describes the little family's grandpa's feet; she writes, "His feet were fat and doughy like thick tamales, and these he powdered and stuffed into white socks and brown leather shoes" (39).

Connections: Esperanza is very much like Alicia, the girl who sees mice. They both do not want to fit into society, but instead, want to do whatever it is that they want to do. Alicia disobeys her father and goes to college, whereas Esperanza claims that she is "tired of being beautiful" and just wants to be herself.

-Ryan Hu (Period 3)


The House on Mango Street: "Darius & the Clouds"
"You can never have too much sky. You can fall asleep and wake up drunk on sky, and sky can keep you safe when you are sad. Here there is too much sadness and not enough sky. Butterflies too are few and so are flowers and most things that are beautiful. Still, we take what we can get and make the best of it." (Pg. 33)
Speaker: Esperanza is narrating
Situation: Esperanza looks up to the sky and applies it to her current life. She thinks about the security the sky provides and how scarce the supply of beautiful objects are. Although Esperanza does not exactly like this lifestyle, she accepts it and makes the best of what she can in her current situation.
Significance: Esperanza starts to feel comfort toward the sky and becomes thankful that it is there for her when she is in need of a way to escape. She feels like the "sky can keep you safe when you are sad." (Pg. 33) However, there is much more sadness than the sky can make up for in Mango Street. In addition, the beautiful things are just too limited in quantity, and Esperanza believes they should make the best of what they have and to not dwell on what they do not yet have. She believes they should keep dreaming, that one day, happiness will come.
Stylistic devices: Cisneros personifies the sky and makes the sky seem just like a comforting friend or family member. She says, "You can never have too much sky. You can fall asleep and wake up drunk on the sky, and sky can keep you safe when you are sad." (Pg. 33) Esperanza speaks of the sky just like it is a person who keeps her safe, gives her warmth, and gives her the will to live on each day. This allows the reader to connect to Esperanza and to start to understand how she feels.
Connections: Just like all of the other women in Mango Street, Esperanza seeks a temporary refuge that she can lean on. However, she does not cast her trust on another, such as a man, to bring her calmness in her mind, and to help her to escape from reality. All she needs is the sky, because she knows that it will never fail her.
Belinda Chen
Period 6


from "A Smart Cookie"

"Shame is a a bad thing, you know. It keeps you down. You want to know why i quit school? Because i didn't have nice clothes. No clothes, but i had brains. Yup, she says disgusted, stirring again. I was a smart cookie then." (91)

Speaker: Esperanza is narrating

Situation: While Esperanza's mother is stirring oatmeal, she unexpectedly complains about her life and how she could have done something better with it. She outwardly expresses her thoughts on what she could have been like a Opera singer or T.V. fixer. She then tells Esperanza to never quit school because she explains what happened to her friends that have done that action. Finally, Esperanza's mother surprises Esperanza by telling the reason she didn't go to school was because she didn't have nice clothes.

Significance: This plays a major role in Esperanza's growth and maturity because her mother is basically helping her from being influenced by society and setting herself as a role model that Esperanza can learn from. This may lead to Esperanza having a different perspective on life and how important an education can be for her when she grows older. Furthermore, when her mother says "You want to know why i quit school? Because I didn't have nice clothes. No clothes, but I had brians", she purposely admits the fact that she was shamed from going to school not from dropping out due to lower intelligence but from not having clothes that looked good.

Stylistic devices: Theme is incorporated in this vignette because "Shame is a bad thing, you know. It keeps you down" shows how people can be let down by society even when they have the gifts to overcome it.

Connections: Esperanza's mother is like any other woman on Mango Street because woman at the time weren't suppose to do much back. This then leads to her explaining to her daughter how to avoid mistakes she has made in her life.

Ryan Chou (Period 3)


Nicky (last edited Jan 30, 2015 10:47AM ) Jan 30, 2015 10:47AM   0 votes
from "The Monkey Garden"

Example: "I looked at her a long time, but I could't think of anything to say, and ran back down the three flights to the garden where Sally needed to be saved...But when I got there Sally said go home...They all looked at me as if I was the one that was crazy and made me feel ashamed" (Cisneros 97).

Speaker: Esperanza is narrating.

Situation: Some boys had taken Sally's keys and would not give them back to her. However, they came to a compromise that if Sally kissed each one of them, they would give her back her keys. Sally had agreed to the conditions, but Esperanza thought that what Sally was doing is wrong and thought that "she needed to be saved" (97).

Significance: Esperanza knew that Sally's decision was wrong and knew that Sally had lost her innocence. Esperanza knew that those boys were taking advantage of Sally, but she could do nothing about it because Sally had told her to "go home" (97). However, she could do nothing about it because Sally was being stubborn. Also, Sally was like a role model to Esperanza. But after what happened that day, Sally made Esperanza "feel ashamed" and did not want to look up to her ever again (97).

Stylistic devices: A brick is something that is useless when it is by itself. Esperanza tried to use the brick to threaten Sally and her boys, but it did not work. It provides a theme that one person by themselves cannot create change, but a group of many people can.

Connections: The monkey garden is a place of misfortune. Everybody that enters will be confronted with a unfortunate event. As Sally loss her innocence, Esperanza did not only lose a role model, but she also lost a friend.

Nicky Chan (Period 3).

M 25x33
Brian Chan Well thought out, but has a minor spelling error in the example.
Feb 02, 2015 06:25PM · flag

From "Red Clowns"
Quote: "Sally, you lied. It wasn't what you said at all. What he did. Where he touched me. I didn't want it, Sally. The way they said it, the way it's supposed to be, all the storybooks and movies, why did you lie me?” (99).
“Sally, make him stop. I couldn’t make them go away. I couldn’t do anything bu cry. I don’t remember. It was dark. I don’t remember. I don’t remember. Please don’t make me tell it all.” (100).
“Then the colors began to whirl. Sky tipped. Their high black gym shoes ran. Sally, you lied, you lied. He wouldn’t let me go. He said I love you, I love you, Spanish girl” (100).

Speaker: Esperanza is narrating.

Situation: Esperanza has left her friends, Lucy and Rachel, for a while to socialize with Sally at the carnival. Unsurprisingly, Sally leaves Esperanza stranded next to the tilt-a-whirl, where she was watching Sally laugh and have fun. The boy had taken Sally clearly to go “have fun.” However, a group of boys approaches Esperanza and, from the way she talks, it is implied that they start to sexually assault her. She’s confused because she believed that to touch someone as intimately as that, it was through love and passion. Esperanza has been told and “lied” to about how relationships work. She was never told what harassment was, so she starts to blame all the other women who have told her about growing up and maturing. But most of all, she blames Sally, for leaving her stranded there, for never being loyal, and for lying to her numerous times.

Significance: Although Esperanza has grown up and learned many things throughout the books, her innocence and ignorance comes back during this vignette. She’s confused as to why these boys assaulted her and why the women have “lied” to her about the evil in the world. They never expressed the negatives of appealing to a man’s eyes or of being beautiful. She thought that the way she was touched required love, but no matter how many times the boy said “I love you,” she knew she had been used and felt slightly angered and disappointed in how events turned out. Esperanza silently begs Sally to not “make her tell it all.” She isn’t strong enough to speak openly about what has happened. She is new to womanhood and has not experienced this danger before. This situation has traumatized her in so many different ways and Esperanza doesn’t know how to recover and move on. Esperanza blames the women who have told her different things and doesn’t blame the boys for assaulting her. Their identities are not known and therefore she doesn’t know who to blame. Also, blaming the boys would also require some sort of strength, which she doesn’t have yet. She must grow older before she can understand what has truly happened to her and before she can blame the boys.

Stylistic Devices: The title of the vignette, “Red Clowns” symbolizes those who do not care and those who have lied to Esperanza. The clowns are laughing at her while the boys sexually assault her. The moon represents her innocence as it watches over her. The author uses the phrase “I love you” over and over again and repeats “I don’t know” numerous times too. After so many “I love you’s,” the phrase seems practically meaningless and is only a claim of love, not actually true love. However, Esperanza saying “I don’t know” shows her thoughts, which are confusion and ignorance. She doesn’t know what has happened and why it is happening to her.

Connections: In this vignette, Esperanza has returned to her childish tone and her confusion towards what has happened shows some type of innocence. There is no doubt that she has matured through the other vignettes, but she has been ripped of that maturity in this story. Her confusion represents the amount of knowledge she doesn’t know. The people she has met, Marin, Sally, Alicia, have never told her of the dangers of becoming a woman. She has associated love with intimacy, which she realizes is the wrong concept. The dangers of growing up have started to become real to her and she realizes that she is almost on her own to deal with her own problems.

Uniss Tan, Period 6


From: "Linoleum Roses"

Quote: "Sally got married like we knew she would, young and not ready but married just the same. She met a marshmallow salesman at a school bazaar, and she married him in another state where it's legal to get married before eighth grade. She has her husband and her house now, her pillow cases and her plates. She says she is in love, but I think she did it to escape. Sally says she likes being married because now she gets to buy her own things when her husband gives her money." (p.101)

Speaker: Esperanza is narrating.

Situation: Everyone, including Esperanza, knew that Sally would get a husband. Using another state's law, she was married at a rather young age. Since then, Sally has gotten everything she desires.

Significance: Esperanza knew that Sally lived a harsh life on Mango Street. Sally used her charms to obtain a "husband" that gave a ticket to escape and have a change in her life. While Esperanza wants to leave Mango Street, she wants to do it correctly: by working for the opportunity. She does not want to use anyone to accomplish her goal.

Stylistic device(s): Pillowcases contain the actual pillow to give comfort to the user. Plates are used to hold a delicious or fancy meal. The pillowcases and plates are symbols of Sally's comfort and joy with her "marriage".

Connections: Sally and Marin have the same mindset. They are going to rely someone to create a change in their life and take them somewhere far from Mango Street, a place that has trapped them for a long time.

Geoffrey Edralin
Per.3 1/30/15


deleted member (last edited Jan 30, 2015 10:47AM ) Jan 30, 2015 10:47AM   0 votes
from "Beautiful & Cruel"

Quote: "My mother says when I get older my dusty hair will settle and my blouse will learn to stay clean, 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.
In the movies there is always one with red red lips who is beautiful and cruel. She is the one who drives the men crazy and laughs the all away. Her power is her own. She will not give it away.
I have begun my own quiet war. Simple. Sure. I am one who leaves the table like a man, without putting back the chair or picking up the plate."

Speaker: Esperanza narrates this vignette.

Situation: Esperanza expresses her disdain for marriage by likening it to a "ball and chain". She is also inspired by those "movies [where] there is always one with red red lips who is beautiful and...is the one who drives the men crazy and laughs them all away", and as such decides that she too will have power of her own, power that "she will not give...away". She does this by refusing to fulfill her role as a girl, by leaving "the table like a man, without putting back the chair or picking up the plate."

Significance: Esperanza knows fully well what her expected role in society is, and rejects it. Her dreams do not include getting married to a good husband, unlike most other girls in her community. Unlike Marin, who waits "for a car to stop, a star to fall, someone to change her life" or Nenny, who also desires marriage but "won't wait her whole life for a husband to come and get her". Esperanza even notes earlier that marriage is like being like people "who lay their necks on the threshold waiting for the ball and chain." By this it can be extrapolated that she dreams of freedom, and that she would never willingly tie herself down to a man (like "a red balloon, a balloon tied to an anchor").
"I am the one who leaves the table like a man", Esperanza says. By refusing to do the common household chores as she is expected to do, Esperanza is taking power into her own hands, the power a man would have in a household, the power to reject her expected role as a Spanish girl. She wants to escape this fate, but for now all she can do is to wage her "own quiet war".

Stylistic Devices: A metaphor is used with the idea of marriage and the "ball and chain" which other girls "lay their necks on the threshold waiting for." Esperanza also uses "red" twice in describing the ideal movie heroine, the heroine who is at the same time "beautiful and cruel." She then goes on to begin her own "quiet war". Cisneros addresses a theme in this passage as well--the desire for freedom in society.

Connections: This is not the only vignette highlighting Esperanza's desire to escape her situation and her own uniqueness; in the first vignette she states that she is a "red balloon...tied to an anchor" and expresses her desire to rename herself to something more like "Zeze the X". Several vignettes detail the negative effects marriage has had on other girls in her community, ranging from abuse to loneliness. While Esperanza accepted her identity as a girl in "Hips", it seems that she still finds the concept of marriage undesirable.

Hannah Z (per.3)


from "Hairs"

"Everybody in our family has different hair. My Papa's hair is like a broom, all up in the air. And me, my hair is lazy. It never obeys barrettes or bands. Carlos' hair is thick and straight. He doesn't need to comb it. Nenny's hair is slippery-slides out of your hand. And Kiki, who is the youngest, has hair like fur" (6).

Speaker: Esperanza is narrating the vignette.

Situation: Esperanza is describing the texture and appearance of hair her family's hair and how different they are even though they are related. Her observations show that she wants to know more about her family by carefully looking and describing the different aspects of each one of them.

Significance: Although the passage may be describing members of her family, Esperanza is really observing their personality differences. Each individual is unique and their hair is one way of representing themselves. Kiki is young, sweet, and innocent so she "has hair like fur." Her own hair, however, "is lazy. It never obeys barrettes or bands." This can describe Esperanza's outgoing nature and how she does not do what society expects of her. So, her mother will guide her and help her learn her place in society and the roles women play. Every person is unique and they do not have to change themselves to be like another individual. Their differences make them who they are and changing them would mean being someone you are not.

Stylistic Devices: Cisneros uses multiple devices in this quote including symbol, simile, alliteration, and personification. The hair symbolizes everyone's differences and unique personality and how no one is the same. Esperanza describes her father's hair "like a broom, all up in the air." She is saying his personality is crazy and is always ready to take chances. She also says Kiki has "hair like fur," meaning she is young, delicate, and still has innocence because she is not fully aware of the world she lives in. The author also uses "barrettes or bands" to establish rhythm and create a nice flow within the vignette. Lastly, Cisneros uses personification to describe Esperanza's lazy hair. Hair cannot be lazy because it is not alive, so she is describing Esperanza's personality and how she is behind on growing up and learning about society.

Connections: "Boys and Girls" is also about differences. Esperanza notices how different genders are not treated in the same way. She observes this and realizes that being different can restrict what actions you take, but it defines who you are.

Airi Gonzalez, Period 3


deleted member Jan 30, 2015 10:47AM   0 votes
Linoleum Roses

"Sally got married like we knew she would, young and not ready but married just the same... she says she's in love, but I think she id it to escape...She is happy, except sometimes her husband gets angry... though most days he's okay... She sits at home because she's afraid to go outside without permission."

Speaker: Esperanza

Situation: Esperanza is explaining to the readers what happened to Sally. Esperanza assumes that she married to get away from her lifestyle and her actions while being married support that theory.

Significance: This vignette reinforces Esperanza's thoughts on Sally being a liar. Sally says she's happy and in love, and we can assume she says that the married life is all that you could dream about. The reader can tell that what she says is not true because she got married so young and moved out quickly as if she was running from her past life. Also the life she has now doesn't allow her to be as free as she wanted to be because she isn't allowed to see friends or even "look out the window" to see what she is missing. Another compelling detail is who her husband is and how he acts. His actions reminds the reader of Sally's dad, who had a temper and never wanted her to leave or run away. This reiterates the overall theme that you can never escape Mango Street.

Stylistic Devices: Cisneros wrote a simile into the last sentence. " She likes to look at the walls, at how neatly their corners meet, the linoleum roses on the floor, the ceiling smooth as wedding cake." The simile shows the reader that the house is her married life. The moment Sally got married her life as a wife was going to take place under that roof. The house was like her love life; the walls are Sally and her husband meeting perfectly, the roses symbolize her love and how he swooned her and the ceiling was the sweetest part and the last part because she got her own house but like cake her love for it won't last that long.

Connection: The way Sally weaseled her way out of Mango Street was very sudden, but not so unexpected. In that community many want to leave and become rich with a house and a family. The vignette, "Linoleum Roses," shows the desperation of the youth or next generation to get out.

Samantha Sandoval (3)


The House on Mango Street "Boys & Girls" Double Entry Journal

Quote: "Someday I will have a best friend all my own. One I can tell secrets to. One who will understand my jokes without having to explain them. Until then I am a red balloon, a balloon tied to an anchor."(9)

Speaker: Esperanza is narrating this vignette.

Situation: Esperanza is wishing for a friend. She says earlier that the boys and girls live in separate worlds, and her brothers are friends with each other. She also mentions that Nenny, the youngest of the family, is too young to be her friend. Esperanza finds Nenny to be more of a chore than a friend. Esperanza wants a true friend, one that can understand her.

Significance: Esperanza wants a friend, one that is about her age. She wants someone to come into her life that can understand her, as she feels that no one really understands her well. She mentions that she wants a best friend all her own. She wants a friend that she can be close with by herself. She doesn't want a casual friend, but rather, a close best friend.

Stylistic Devices: The author uses a red balloon tied to an anchor to describe Esperanza's state. A red balloon symbolizes freedom, but the anchor symbolizes being locked in place. Esperanza wants to be free and make a lot of friends, but Mango Street ties her down. There is also foreshadowing, as Esperanza later does find a friend, first Cathy, and then Rachel and Lucy.

Connections: Esperanza, like other women in Mango Street, wants to escape. For Esperanza, she wants to escape and make friends, but they are trapped by Mango Street's unfriendly nature. For example, in the vignette "Marin", Marin wants a change to happen, but doesn't know how to make change happen.

Timothy Sin
Per. 6


Angela (last edited Jan 30, 2015 04:47PM ) Jan 30, 2015 02:38PM   0 votes
From "Sally"

Quote-"There'd be no nosy neighbors watching, no motorcycles and cars, no sheets and towels and laundry. Only trees and more trees and plenty of blue sky. And you could laugh, Sally. You could go to sleep and wake up and never have to think who likes and doesn't like you. You could close your eyes and you wouldn't be able to worry what people said because you never belonged here anyways and nobody could make you sad and nobody would think you're strange because you like to dream and dream." (Cisneros 83)

Speaker- Esperanza is narrating the situation

Situation-Esperanza is giving her opinion on how Sally's life could be different. She knows what it feels like to be limited and can relate to her.

Significance- Esperanza talks about how Sally's life would be different without "nosy neighbors" because she wishes to have that sort of lifestyle. Esperanza wants to be free and live in a world where "nobody would think [she's] strange." She wants to "dream and dream" without anyone thinking she's strange. Esperanza, like Sally, is stuck in a place where she doesn't have the freedom to express herself. She is limited by her parents, the environment she's in, and the expectations for her to become a young lady.

Stylistic devices- The "blue sky" represents a peaceful, dreamy picture. It represents Sally's dreams of going beyond Mango Street and doing what she wants without anyone judging her. It is something that both Esperanza and Sally need and want to have. The sky is something that comforts and holds them.

Connections- Sally and Esperanza both hope for the same thing; they don't want anyone or anything to hold them back from what they want. They are unable to achieve their dreams because they are trapped in Mango Street. As mentioned in the first vignette, Esperanza longs for a real house. She does not want to live on Mango Street, where she feels embarrassed and trapped. Esperanza longs for the freedom that she can't and doesn't have.

Angela Yang
Period 6


"Chanclas"
Speaker: Esperanza is narrating.

Quote: "Then Uncle Nacho is pulling and pulling my arm and it doesn't matter how new the dress Mama bought is because my feet are ugly until my uncle who is a liar says, You are the prettiest girl here, will you dance, but I believe him, and yes, we are dancing, my Uncle Nacho and me, only I don't want to at first."

Situation: Esperanza's mother bought her a new dress for the baptism party and she loves the dress,but she has to wear her school shoes, in which she hates. Everyone's laughing and having a good time and some boy who's her cousin by first communion asks her to dance, but she says no and stays in her seat. Before she knows it, her uncle is pulling her out on the dance floor to dance with him. Even though she doesn't want to, she still does.

Significance: Esperanza is self-conscious about her feet because she's wearing her brown and white saddle shoes that she wears to school, which makes her feel like her feet are very large. She's maturing and growing up because she wants herself to look nice and have the nice clothes and she's trying to fit in with the rest of society and the people around her, how they look nice, have semi-nice clothes and how they act. In a way she wants to act older than she is. By letting her uncle pull her out to the dance floor where she dances, it still shoes her childlike, innocent side.

Stylistic Devices: In this quote "pulling and pulling" are used as repetition and alliteration. It emphasizes how he badly he wants her to dance and forget about what type of shoes she's wearing or how she looks. She's young and she should be having a wonderful time, not being worried about something as small as shoes.

Connection: She's more aware of her body now and what she wears whereas before she didn't really care or worry about that stuff. In "The Family of Little Feet" is where she started to act more mature in how she wore those shoes, what she did with them and who was more attracted to her. In "Hips" she's becoming more aware of her body and how she dresses or how she talks about certain areas like her hips.


Brandon (last edited Jan 30, 2015 10:44AM ) Jan 30, 2015 10:42AM   0 votes
From "Alicia Who Sees Mice"

"Alicia, who inherited her mama's rolling pin and sleepiness, is young and smart and studies for the first time at the university. Two trains and a bus, because she doesn't want to spend her whole life in a factory or behind a rolling pin. Is a good girl, my friend, studies all night and sees the mice, the ones her father says do not exist. Is afraid of nothing except four-legged fur. And fathers."(32)

Speaker: Esperanza is narrating this passage

Situation: Alicia, someone who Esperanza knows, lives with only her father because her mother died. Since she is gone, Alicia is the one "...who inherited her mama's rolling pin and sleepiness,..."(31). She is expected to be doing all the house work but has other intentions for herself.

Significance: Even though Alicia's father expects her to take the responsibility of maintaining their post, she wishes to apprehend what is best for her own future. Mainly her father holds her back, but it does not stop her from doing what she wants.

Stylistic devices: The rolling pin is an inherited obligation for Alicia. It is a symbol of her father's control over her as a woman, the definition of an anchor that drags her down and keeps her from leaving.

Connections: Alicia shares the same desire with Esperanza to dream big. Both of them are trapped and controlled by expectation and the limitation of success.

Brandon Arca (Period 3)


The House on Mango Street:"Red Clowns"

Quote: "Sally Sally a hundred times. Why didn't you hear me when I called? Why didn't you tell him to leave me alone? The one who grabbed me by the arm, he wouldn't let me go. He said I love you Spanish girl, I love you, and pressed his sour mouth to mine.
Sally, make him stop. I couldn't make them go away. I couldn't do anything but cry. I don't remember. It was dark. I don't remember. I don't remember. Please don't make me tell it all."

Speaker: Esperanza is narrating.

Situation: Esperanza is confronting Sally, telling her that she lied to her. She talks of how she waited for her and how she feels as though Sally and all media has lied to her and let her down.

Significance: In this vignette Esperanza feels like she has been let down by the world, that everyone has built this fantasy for her. She came to a harsh reality when she was waiting for Sally at the carnival and she is confronted by what is assumed to be a group of boys that will not leave her alone. She sees that the attention they are giving her is not the lime light she wanted and she sees that love isn't at all what "the books and magazines" describe it. However, Esperanza only feels this way because she was sexually abused by this boy. This boy who took advantage of her and told her "I love you, Spanish girl, I love you." This boy who doesn't know her name and is ignorant of her heritage. This boy who took her childhood and in return gave her a hideous reality. Esperanza is upset with Sally and society for painting a beautiful picture of an ugly world.

Stylistic Devices: Cisneros uses repetition in this vignette to illustrate Esperanza's distress. She repeats "I don't remember" because she is trying to make herself forget the troubles she recently experienced.

Connections: It is in "Red Clowns" that Esperanza realizes that she regrets wanting to grow up so fast. She tells Sally, "I waited my whole life. You're a liar" because her perspective on growing up was to free herself from Mango Street and finally become something greater than what she was destined for. In this vignette she wakes up from a daydream of hers and sees that life sends one into places they cannot escape. She would see the women on Mango Street and wonder why they did nothing and now she realizes that they can't.

Shelby Partida
Period 3


“Darius and The Clouds”

“You can never have too much sky. You can fall asleep and wake up drunk on sky, and sky can keep you safe when you are sad. Here this is too much sadness and not enough sky. Butterflies too are few and so are flowers and most things that are beautiful. Still, we take what we can get and make the best of it.
Darius, who doesn’t like school, who is sometimes stupid and mostly a fool, said something wise today, though most days he says nothing , Darius, who chases girls with firecrackers or a stick that touched a rat and thinks he’s tough, pointed up because the world was full of clouds, the kind like pillows.
You see that cloud, that fat one there? Darius said, See that? Where? That one next to the one that look like popcorn. That one there. See that. That’s God, Darius said. God? somebody little asked. God, he said, and made it simple.”(Pg.33)

Speaker: Esperanza is the narrator.

Situation: Esperanza being at school one day, recalls Darius, “who chases girls with firecrackers or a stick that touched a rat and think he’s tough,” saying something wise that day. Darius was pointing a cloud out to another student and said that that one cloud, “the one that looks like popcorn,” was God.

SIgnificance: Boys like Darius, who think they’re tough, like others to acknowledge that he a bold and brave. When a boy, “who is sometimes stupid and mostly a fool,” stopped a moment and views his surroundings, it changes things. After Darius points up to the sky stating that a cloud is God, shocks everyone because he’s not the type that would say something like that. Tough guys don’t like to show a weakness, but something within Darius was revealed that day. He showed other characters in the vignettes plus the reader that he isn’t just a boy “who chases girls with firecrackers,” but someone that can believe in something and make up his own mind. He’s not afraid, of course because he is “tough”, to make such a statement, not because he has a fear of talking about religion, but because he’s not afraid to dream.

Stylistic devices: In this vignette, Esperanza states that “you can never have too much sky. You can fall asleep and wake up drunk on sky, and sky can keep you safe when you are sad. Here there is too much sadness and not enough sky. Butterflies too are few and so are flowers and most things that are beautiful. Still, we take what we can get and make the best of it.” This passage symbolizes the infinite amount of dreams a person can have.

Connections: Most of the characters in “The House on Mango Street” all have dreams. They want a purpose, someone to love, or someone to take them away from there. It’s the dream of getting away and moving to someplace new, for a new reason to live. Marin is a perfect example, because she is “waiting for a car to stop, a start to fall, someone to change her life.” She still dreams now, even at her age, for someone to take her away from that place.

Orion Maestas
Period. 6
1-30-15


"Alicia Who Sees Mice"
Speaker: Esperanza is narrating.
Quote:
"And anyway, a woman's place is sleeping so she can wake up early with the tortilla star...Alicia who inherited her mother's rolling pin and sleepiness...studies for the first time at university...Two trains and a bus because she doesn't want to spend her whole life in a factory or behind a rolling pin. Is a good girl, my friend, studies all night and sees the mice...Is afraid of nothing except four-legged fur. And fathers." (Cisneros 31-32)

Situation: After her mother died, Alicia took over her mother's duty of making the lunches for the family. Even though society says that women only need to sleep so they can wake up early, Alicia still tries to go to university.

Significance: Alicia hates living like her mother did,"sleeping so she can wake up early with the tortilla star." Therefore, she "studies for the first time at university" to escape "her mother's rolling pin and sleepiness" and have a better future, one that does not involve working "in a factory or behind a rolling pin." To achieve this better future, she "studies all night" and sacrifices sleep for she wakes up early enough that she "sees mice." She is also willing to travel far to university on "two trains and one bus." She does all of this because she afraid of being stuck in this lifestyle and neighborhood, of "four-legged fur" and "fathers." Esperanza admires Alicia for she says that Alicia "is a good girl" and is her "friend."

Stylistic Device: Cisneros utilizes theme in this passage. Alicia does all she can to be able to go to university so she can ensure a better future. Therefore a theme for this passage can be, the lengths one must go to achieve a good future and freedom from an unwanted lifestyle.

Connection: Alicia, like Marin, Esperanza, and Sally, feels trapped in Mango Street and wants to leave Mango Street as soon as possible. However, only Esperanza and Alicia, wish to leave Mango Street without a man's help.

Adriana Villarruel (Period 6)


Ms. Donee wrote: "As you read each passage, you have five tasks: First, identify who is speaking or narrating. Second, explain what the context or situation is--that is, who is involved, where s/he is, at what time,..."

from "The First Job"

"I guess it was the time for the night shift or middle shift to arrive because a few people came in and punched the time clock, and an older Oriental man said hello and we talked for a while about my just starting, and he said we could be friends and next time to go in the lunchroom and sit with him, and I felt better. He had nice eyes and I didn't feel so nervous anymore. Then he asked if I knew what day it was, and when I said I didn't, he said it was his birthday and would I please give him a birthday kiss. 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." (55)

Speaker: Esperanza is narrating.

Situation: Esperanza begins working her first job so she could pay for school. Esperanza struggles with her shyness throughout the day but, she feels better towards the end of the day when she meets a kind "oriental man" who tells her they can be friends and sit together at lunch.

Significance: The man takes advantage of her as she was about to kiss him on the cheek. Throughout the story, it shows how Esperanza is growing up. She's beginning to realize that more and more people are starting to notice her. She also realizes that she is receiving the wrong type of attention and that it may cause her danger.

Stylistic device: Cisneros show that the important theme is how grown men take over young girls, and how innocent girls like Esperanza are often victimized for having open minds and hearts.

Connection: Esperanza has been experiencing the stage of feeling like a "woman". From being pleased with the way she looks in high-heels, to dancing with a boy, and then discussing what hips are, shows how Esperanza is aware of the idea on how the ideal women should be. Esperanza, Nenny, Lucy, and Rachel are learning that their desire to have attention may not be as great as it seems.

Meagan Pham
Period 3


From "Born Bad"

"She listened to every book, every poem I read her. One day I read her one of my own. I came very close. I whispered it into the pillow:
I want to be
like the waves on the sea
like the clouds in the wind,
but I'm me.
One day I'll jump
out of my skin.
I'll shake the sky
like a hundred violins.
That's nice. That's very good, she said in her tired voice. You just remember to keep writing...It will keep you free, and I said yes, but at that time I didn't know what she meant" (60-61).

Speaker: Esperanza is narrating.

Situation: Esperanza is reading her poem about how she'll make an impact to her blind Aunt Lupe, one of the few people she trusts enough to read her poems to.

Significance: Aunt Lupe enjoyed Esperanza's company, making Esperanza feel more comfortable and at peace, unlike most locations on Mango Street. The poem is about how Esperanza wants to be free, "like the waves on the sea, like the clouds in the wind," but knows that she is only who she is, but one day will make a significant impact on the world, as seen from her statement, "I'll the the sky like a hundred violins." Aunt Lupe enjoys the poem and tells Esperanza to keep writing them, since it makes her happy and "keeps her free."

Stylistic devices: "The waves on the sea" and "the clouds in the wind" are both symbols of freedom, which Esperanza wants more than anything.

Connections: Many people are trapped by some aspect in their life, and each are trying to find their own way out. Marin hopes for someone to pick her up and swoop her away. Many stuck on Mango Street are trapped there due to fear of going else where with their language barrier. Rosa Vargas is trapped at home, forced to take care of her children alone. Alicia tries to escape by using education to get ahead of life and not be the woman of the house. Esperanza is also trapped, but doesn't know how to get free. All she knows is that one day, she will and will make a difference in the world.

Ethan Bowers
Period 3


Megan (last edited Jan 30, 2015 10:44AM ) Jan 30, 2015 10:43AM   0 votes
From "The Monkey Garden"

"What do you want me to do, call the cops? And kept on ironing. I looked at her a long time, but couldn't think of anything to say, and ran back down the three flights to the garden where Sally needed to be saved. I took three big sticks and a brick and figured this was enough. But when I got there Sally said go home. Those boys said leave us alone. I felt stupid with my brick. They all looked at me as if I was the one that was crazy and made me feel ashamed" (97).

Speaker: Esperanza narrates this passage.

Situation: Esperanza had been playing in the over grown garden when she overheard that the boys Sally had been with stole her keys. Tito and the boys made up a game where Sally would only get her keys back by giving each of them a kiss. She thought Sally was legitimately being forced into doing it, and so runs to tell Tito's mother about it. However, the mother does nothing and so Esperanza, feeling like she must take matters into her own hands, takes a brick as a weapon to save Sally. Upon finding her, she is confused and ashamed when Sally told her to leave her and the boys alone.

Significance: Esperanza doesn't understand Sally's morals and is completely under the impression that she is being forced into kissing those boys. Having experienced someone forcing their desires on her in the past, Esperanza's morals are completely different. She believes that acts like that should never be forced and should be consensual. The fact that she gets angry as shown in "Only how come I felt angry inside. Like something wasn't right" (97), proves that Esperanza believes that romantic acts shouldn't just be given to others so easily. They should have meaning and be with someone special. At the time, Esperanza doesn't understand her own displeasure at seeing Sally go behind the truck to go kiss the boys, however, she ignores this fact and focuses on the idea that Sally could be in trouble. In addition to Esperanza's own morals, she faces an internal conflict when she sees everyone acting as if it's no big deal. She feels like it's possible that her own thoughts about the situation could be outlandish and feels ashamed about having the less-than-popular opinion. Another reason Esperanza is so affected by this event is because she was taken advantage of before and sees it as a traumatic event no one else should ever experience. From that event, she assumes that Sally feels the same way without actually knowing for sure.

Stylistic devices: The author describes Esperanza's heroic rush to save Sally to build up anticipation and uses reality to deepen and truly show her emotions. She also uses the structure of the writing to emphasize exactly how Esperanza feels. When Esperanza says "That's all?" (97), the author leaves the rest of the line blank. The empty space symbolizes Esperanza's shock and disappointment at the fact that Tito's mother is taking things so casually, as if this kind of thing was normal.

Connections: The theme of this vignette somewhat parallels the vignette "The First Job." Both demonstrate what it's like to have something forced onto you either by blackmail or by force. However, "The Monkey Garden" showcases a different take on the same situation. While in Esperanza's case, it was extremely evident that it was not consensual, this is not quite clear in Sally's situation. It was consensual because Sally did not feel as if a kiss was something to be treasured. In both vignettes, Esperanza matures in the sense that she's learning understand that her appearance affects others around her and that her thoughts will not always be shared others. She learns that everyone is different, and that everyone will have different morals.

Megan Chan (Period 3)


"Hairs"

"Everybody in our family has different hair. My Papa's hair is like a broom, all up in the air. And me, my hair is lazy. It never obeys barrettes or bands. Carlos' hair is thick and straight. He doesn't need to comb it. Nenny's hair is slippery-slides out of your hand. And Kiki, who is the youngest has hair like fur."(7)

Speaker: Esperanza is narrating.

Situation: In "Hairs", Esperanza describes the hair of all her family members and talks about their personalities. Her mother's hair is described as "curly and pretty". This describes her mother's graceful characteristic, and Esperanza mentions how her mother protects and supports the family. Esperanza's hair is "lazy and never obeys barrettes or bands", which shows that she is stubborn and does not like to be bossed around.

Significance: This vignette shows that Esperanza and her family members are different, which is an explanation to why she is the only one who desperately asks for change. Esperanza and her brother Carlos are completely opposites because he "doesn't need to comb his hair". This shows that her brother is obedient and his instinct is to do whatever he is told without thinking through it.

Stylistic devices: The author uses lots of metaphors to describe the personalities of the family members. Papa's hair is "like a broom" while Kiki has "hair like fur".

Connection: Esperanza mentions differences between her family members, but she also talks about the special treatment they receive in "Those Who Don't". She says that, "Those who don't know any better come into our neighborhood scared. They think we're dangerous."(28). Esperanza talks a lot about the differences between her life and the life of the more fortunate.

Katherine Tam
P.6


from"Darius and the Clouds"

"You can never have too much sky. You can fall asleep and wake up drunk on sky, and sky can keep you safe when you are sad. Here there is too much sadness and not enough sky. Butterflies too are few and so are flowers and most things that are beautiful. Still, we take what we can get and make the best of it." (33)

Speaker: Esperanza is narrating the vignette.

Situation: Esperanza complains of how there is no sky or any beauty that is seen on Mango Street. Darius, a classmate from school, points to a cloud in the sky and tells Esperanza that it is God. She finds his statement wise, especially since he is considered "sometimes stupid and mostly a fool."

Significance: Esperanza says there is no "sky". In other words, there is no happiness for anyone on Mango Street. Happiness, as Esperanza states is something that "can keep you safe when you are sad." But since they do not hold that, she and her neighbors have no other choice but cope with the despair and find any other alternative ways to brighten their day.

Stylistic Devices: In this vignette, symbols are used like "sky," which symbolizes happiness, dreams, and hopes; things that are rarely seen on Mango Street. Other symbols that represent the same are the butterflies and flowers.

Connection: Esperanza's problem in this vignette can be related to "Boys and Girls." In that passage, she deals with gender inequality between her brothers and must be with her little sister, which means that there is no "sky" fro Esperanza.

Dylan Han (Period 3)


From "Darius and the Clouds"

Quote: "You can never have too much sky. You can fall asleep and wake up drunk on sky, and sky can keep you safe when you are sad. Here there is too much sadness and not enough sky... Darius, who doesn't like school, who is sometimes stupid and mostly a fool, said something wise today... today pointed up because the world was full of clouds, the kind like pillows." (Page 33)

Narrator: Esperanza narrates this passage.

Situation: Esperanza's insight of the character Darius goes to show how she perceives the uncanny comment when he "pointed up because the world was full of clouds, the kind like pillows (Page 33). Without neglecting Darius' tedious ways of irritating the others around him, Esperanza sees this idea that she draws out from his saying. With this idea, Esperanza fabricates an illusion of how dreams (both sleeping wise and daydreaming) retain a metaphorical link to clouds. With this thought in mind, Esperanza appoints to a mellow tone as she explains her idea and conclusion of how dreams are supposedly like the sky.

Significance: As one of the most important pieces of info presented by Esperanza, this chapter utilizes Esperanza's forethought about her complex surroundings. As she begins to explain how the sky keep those in scrutiny safe, she also explains how "there is too much sadness and not enough sky." This, the reader can infer from that Esperanza's growing up territory is marked with suffering and dread. The only savior is what she believes are her dreams. The dreams can never be limited as explained when Esperanza says "You can never have too much sky." The sky is a massive expanse that can contain much of the dreams and happy thoughts that those down below cling to in times of sadness. Besides this dark tone, the explanation of what the sky truly is, is conveyed in a blissful ecstasy. Esperanza perceives the sky as a deity that is always present to lift one's spirits when one is on the verge of a breaking point.

Stylistic Devices: Esperanza explains the sky's intention in a loose/happy manner which is capable indoctrinating those who read it. Thus, making the excerpt a strong and subtle solid explanation rather than a rash written statement to get the reader to agree with Esperanza's own opinions.

Connections: The connection that resides within this vignette are the two characters: Darius and Esperanza. Both are not totally inclined to their surroundings and hold on to ecstatic means of escaping their harsh realities. This links the two because of how they use this method as a way to dull their senses and escape the world that is harsh and treacherous.

Ryan De Silva
Period 6


from "A Smart Cookie"

"Then out of nowhere: Shame is a bad thing, you know. It keeps you down. You want to know why I quit school? Because I didn't have nice clothes. No clothes, but I had brains. Yup, she says disgusted, stirring again. I was a smart cookie then."

Speaker: Esperanza is narrating

Situation: Esperanza listens to her mother complain about how she "could've been somebody." Esperanza's mother can sing an opera pretty well but has never gotten the chance to become someone famous. "Esperanza, you go to school. Study hard." Esperanza's mother regrets her past decisions and hopes that Esperanza will not make the same mistake.

Significance: Esperanza's mother believes that she could have become someone important instead of a stay at home mom who regrets past decisions. She can sing opera and says she had the brains but shame had caused her to leave the school. As a child Esperanza's mother likely grew up in a very poor household that was unable to buy her nice clothing. "Shame is a bad thing, you know. It keeps you down." Esperanza's mother likely sees herself in Esperanza, she gives this advice so Esperanza herself does not make the same mistake. It is very likely that Esperanza wants to leave Mango Street because she is ashamed to live in her home and wants to rid of the shame by leaving as soon as possible.

Stylistic devices: Smart cookie is a term used to describe someone as bright or smart. Esperanza's mother recognizes that she was smart girl, but likely called herself smart cookie to say the opposite. "Yup, she says disgusted, stirring again. I was a smart cookie then." She sarcastically calls herself a smart cookie. She realizes that she was dumb for leaving school.

Connections: Just like Esperanza's mother, Esperanza herself is ashamed also of the way she lives. Esperanza's mother left school because she was poor and ashamed of having poor clothing. Esperanza herself is ashamed of her house and where she lives.

Rudy Thurston (period 3)


from "Alicia Who Sees Mice"
Speaker: Esperanza is narrating this vignette.
Important quotes:
"Two trains and a bus, because she doesn't want to spend her whole life in a factory or behind a rolling pin"(Cisneros 31-32).
Situation:
Esperanza explains that Alicia doesn't want to follow a normal housewife's footsteps into working on sewing and jobs that women take. Alicia shows her dedication to learn more and get better opportunities by taking a long transportation just to get to school. Alicia wants to also probably leave Mango Street one day and find a place that actually suits her. She has the courage to show her father that she can be more than just a normal housewife and shows her efforts into achieving this goal by being "...a good girl, my friend, and studies all night..." (Cisneros 32) Her father has the traditional perception of what girls should do. Alicia wants to show her father that girls are more capable than just sweeping and mopping the floor.
Significance:
From Alicia's desire and dedication in getting a better job and studying hard, Esperanza sees that she is not the only one that doesn't want to follow a normal housewife's footsteps. Esperanza also wants to get as far away as possible from Mango Street. She sees that Alicia is trying to follow her dreams and prove that her father is wrong. This also shows the social status that the women were given during the time period the book was written. Women were expected to become housewives and support their husbands instead of pursuing their own dreams and achieving the goals that they are capable of. Women are supposed to only deal with housework and children rather than making their own living and getting a decent job.
Stylistic Devices:
The mice can be compared to Alicia because while the mice looks for cheese, Alicia craves for knowledge that comes from attending school.
Connections:
Most female characters in this novel wants the stature and respect that women should receive. Most of the girls don't want to follow the normal perception of what women should do. Esperanza wants to become independent and have control of what she wants to do by herself. Many girls also want to have the freedom of doing what they want to and following their dreams.

Emily Yang
Period 6


The House on Mango Street, "Sire"

Quote: "Everything is holding its breath inside me. Eveything is waiting to explode like Christmas. I want to be all new and shiny. I want to sit out bad at night, a boy around my neck and the wind under my skirt. Not this way, every evening talking to the trees, leaning out my window, imaging what I can't see."

Speaker: Esperanza is narrating this vignette.

Situation: Esperanza notices a boy always looking at her and when she finally looks back at him they just stare at each other. She looked back at him to prove to herself she was brave but then she couldn't stop because she realized she liked the attention he gave her. She wants to be with someone who holds her and kisses her but she knows it can't be with Sire. Sire is, "a punk" and her parents tell her not to talk to him but the way he looks at her makes her feel normal.

Significance: She wants to be free from everything and to be her own person. She wants to be one of those girls that her mother warns her not to be but at the same time she doesn't want to be like everyone else.Esperanza is sick of feeling like she doesn't belong and she just wants to feel alive.

Stylistic Device: By repeating "I want..." Esperanza makes it clear that she wants that certain but she doesn't have it. Then she talks about what she does have and she doesn't want it. This lets the reader know how she feels about what she wants.

Connection: Sire is connected to the house on mango street because they are both something Esperanza has but she doesn't feel like they are hers. She longs for things like a real home and boy who is there for her when she could have it but doesn't think the ones around her are good enough.

Arianna Craft
Period 6


"You can never have too much sky. You can fall asleep and wake up drunk on sky, and sky can keep you safe when you are sad. Here there is too much sadness and not enough sky. Butterflies too are few and so are flowers and most things that are beautiful. Still, we take what we can get and make the best of it." (33) -"Darius and the Clouds"

Speaker: Esperanza is the narrator.

Situation: According to Esperanza, Darius is not a very intelligent boy, who finally said something wise when he talked about the clouds. He pointed out that the sky was full of clouds, "the kind like pillows."(33) She agrees that the area they live in has no happiness and it is too depressing to find anything beautiful. Still, she tries her best to see things in a brighter light.

Significance: Esperanza realizes that even the people she thinks are dense have dreams too, sometimes the same dreams she does. She also understands that they feel like they cannot reach their dreams, like her. She agrees with the connection that Darius between the clouds and dreams. She knows that she must try to do with what she has and stop asking for more, even though it's hard. She wants to fly away and "wake up drunk on sky"(33), meaning she wants to fall asleep and wake up with all her desires fulfilled, but she knows that it is not probable.

Stylistic Devices: The most evident device in this vignette is symbolism. The clouds in the sky represent the hopes and dreams of the people living in her community. Just like the way clouds fly away, the residents of Mango Street find their dreams floating away. She says that the "sky can keep you safe when you are sad"(33) to indicate that dreams are the only things that keep her going. She depends on her dreams as motivation. She feels that if she didn't have her dreams, her life would be pointless. Another device used is a hyperbole. When she says that "you can fall asleep and wake up drunk on sky", she doesn't really mean that the sky is something you can drink. She exaggerates her feelings and conveys that she spends a lot of her time trying to think of the good things that can come in her life instead of focusing on the negative ones.

Connection: The way her dreams are floating away is like the dream of Mamacita from "No Speak English". Mamacita doesn't want her baby boy to speak English, she wants him to speak Spanish, but she knows that it is not possible. So she cries as that dream flies away from her. Her dreams also connect to Rosa Vargas from "There was an Old Woman She had so Many Children She
Didn't Know What to Do." Rosa Vargas longs for her husband to come back but know it cannot happen. Alicia, from "Alicia Who Sees Mice", also has hopeless dreams dashing away in the sky. Alicia wants to have a good future and go to university, but she is held down by her duties as the oldest woman in her house. Esperanza sees the dreams of other people drift away from them and she wants to hold on to her dreams. She doesn't want to lose her ambitions like the other people on Mango Street did.

Renee Hua
Period 6


The House on Mango Street: "Our Good Day"

"If you give me five dollars I will be your friend forever. That's what the little one tells me. Five dollars is cheap since I [don't have any friends except Cathy who is only my friend till Tuesday. Five dollars, five dollars. She is trying to get somebody to chip in so they can buy a bicycle from this kid named Tito. They already have ten dollars and all they need is five more. Only five dollars, she says."(14)

Speaker: Esperanza is the narrator.

Situation: Esperanza is deciding her choices, to give Lucy and Rachel five dollars or just keeping it because if Esperanza hands over the five dollars, Lucy and Rachel will be her friend forever, but Cathy is trying to stop her from the offer but Esperanza decides to pull through with the offer.

Significance: Esperanza would do anything for a couple friends, since Cathy is leaving on Tuesday, she didn't want to be alone all over again. Willing to do anything that is near her grip, Esperanza tells Lucy and Rachel to "Wait a minute, I say, and run inside to get the five dollars. I have three dollars saved snd I take two of Nenny's." Even without her sister's consult, Esperanza just wants to make new friends.

Stylistic Device: The five dollars symbolizes dependency because without Esperanza's five dollars, it would've been a bad situation for both sides, Esperanza would not gain the friendships of Lucy and Rachel, even though Lucy and Rachel would've not acquired their bicycle, they probably would of found another way to solve the problem.

Connections: Esperanza is like a child at a new school, the new kid doesn't want to play swing on the swing sets, play a game on the playground all alone, so the only way for them to gain a friendship is to trying to fit in.

Ryan Alfeche (Period.3)


From: Beautiful and Cruel

Narrator: The story is told is Esperanza's eye\

Quote: "I am an ugly daughter. I am the nobody comes for. In the movies there is always one with red red lips who is beautiful and cruel. She is the one who drives the men crazy and laughs them all the away. Her power is her own." (pg.88)

Situation: Esperanza is comparing and contracting who she thinks she is to the famous beautiful women you may see in women. To someone much closer, Esperanza is shows jealousy towards her sister by saying, "Nenny has pretty eyes and it's easy that way if you are pretty." Esperanza's mother is saying she must wait to mature, she's taking her own action to learn and grow.

Significance: Insecurity seems to be the main issue of this vignette. She's sadden with the looks she been given with, and looks to others as something she wants to be. It's fine that she appreciates others, but she must learn the ability to change. That's why she must break from her mother and seek the freedom she wants.
The title "Beautiful and Cruel" symbolizes what she wants to become, for example,a woman who "drives the men crazy and laughs them all away," is a power she seeks to gain.

Stylistic Devices: "In the movies" gave an allusion of who we should think of. Especially the word "beautiful" made it much easier to think of that one movie star we all think of sometimes.

Connection: Because it is power she seeks, Esperanza says, "I am one who leaves the table like a man," and this shows she wants the privileges a man has.


From: "The Monkey Garden"

Narrator: Esperanza is narrating this passage.

Important Quotes: -"Only how come I felt angry inside. Like something wasn't right. Sally went behind that old blue pickup to kiss the boys and get her keys back, and I ran up three flights of stairs to where Tito lived" (97).
-"But when I got there Sally said go home. Those boys said leave us alone. I felt stupid with my brick. They all looked at me as if I was the one that was crazy and me feel ashamed" (97).
-"Who was it that said I was getting too old to play the games? Who was it I didn't listen to? I only remember that when the others ran, I wanted to run too, up and down and through the monkey garden, fast as the boys, not like Sally who screamed if she got her stockings muddy" (96).

Situation: Esperanza describes the monkey garden as someplace wonderfully unique, describing, "There were sunflowers big as flowers on Mars and thick cockscombs bleeding the deep red fringe of theater curtains. There were dizzy bees and bow-tied fruit flies turning somersaults and humming in the air. Sweet sweet peach trees" (95). Esperanza later supposes the reason she goes to the garden so much was because of the things that were always found there, far away from their parents and home. She then describes the final day she went to the Monkey Garden with Sally. Esperanza wants Sally to play with her in the garden, but Sally appeared to busy with Tito and his friends, wanting her keys back that they appeared to steal. Then, "One of the boys invented the rules. One of Tito's friends said you can't get the keys back unless you kiss us and Sally pretended to be mad at first but she said yes" (96). Esperanza is frustrated, and tries to stand up for Sally, ending up in embarrassing herself. She loses interest in the garden and hides alone at the other end of the garden.

Significance: Sally is slowly maturing and doesn't take as much time to hang around Esperanza. Esperanza does not understand the reason to why Sally leaves her alone to talk to the other boys, and becomes very frustrated at the lack of attention she receives. She states, "Who was it that said I was getting too old to play the games? Who was it I didn't listen to? I only remember that when the others ran, I wanted to run too, up and down and through the monkey garden, fast as the boys, not like Sally who screamed if she got her stockings muddy" (96). Esperanza still loves to play with the little children, but cannot adjust to Sally's sudden change in age and maturity. She cannot comprehend her anger towards Sally's ignorance, and tries to solve the problem, failing in doing so.

Stylistic Devices: Theme is a major device used in this passage to represent maturity and curiosity. Also, the author, Sandra Cisneros, uses a sudden change of emotion from the beginning to the end of the passage to describe Esperanza's change in character and confusion towards Sally. Sally's maturity ultimately causes Esperanza's curiosity in finding out why she is changing and not playing with her anymore. Esperanza fills the beginning of the passage with descriptions of hope and interest into a garden, but ending with the paragraph, "I looked at my feet in their white socks and ugly round shoes. They seemed far away. They didn't seem to be my feet anymore. And the garden that had been such a good place to play didn't seem mine anymore" (98). The sudden change of emotion and confusion Esperanza has can relate to younger children who see the change in older siblings or friends.

Connections: This passage foreshadows the feelings of betrayal and hate from Esperanza towards Sally in the future. Section 7 shows the change in Esperanza' personality towards Sally over time, with her stating in the next passage, "Sally, you lied. It wasn't what you said at all. What he did. Where he touched me. I didn't want it, Sally. The way they said it, the way it's supposed to be, all the storybooks and movies, why did you lie to me?" (99) Esperanza is slowly losing trust in Sally, who appears to be telling her ideas of what to do while she is maturing, which Esperanza still clearly does not understand. This passage, along with many others in Section 7, marks a change for Esperanza's point of view toward Sally.

Adam Ng
(Period 3)
January 30, 2015


Eugene Lo Period 3

Vignette: A Smart Cookie

"I could have been somebody, you know? my mother says and sighs... Shame is a bad thing, you know. It keeps you down. You want to know why I quit school? Because I didn't have nice clothes. No clothes, but I had brains." (91)
Speaker: Esperanza's mom

Situation: Esperanza's mother is recalling her harsh childhood and the regret and shame it has caused her. She constantly repeats the statement, "I could have been somebody, you know?" (91) to stress the unfairness of her young life. She then goes on to say, "... I didn't have nice clothes. No clothes, but I had brains." (91) As a child, she was blessed with intelligence and displayed immense potential in her coming years, but one huge obstacle that obstructed her from pursuing her dreams in the future was the fact that she was poor and did not "have nice clothes."

Significance: This vignette is a small-scale representation of the hardships and obstacles that some people in the world face. Many people are smart and hard-working. However, despite the potential they face, there is something that is stopping them from continuing down the path to success. This could be their race, religion, gender, or in this vignette's case, money. Esperanza's mother could have "been somebody," but the reality of her situation hindered her drive to be successful in the future. The sad truth of the matter is the potential and opportunities that laid in front of her were impossible for her to take, and she is now a grown woman telling her daughter what person she could have been. As an adult, she is forced to live with the fact that her life could have been so much different than what it was; she was a "smart cookie," so the possibilities for her were endless. However, just by observing her life in the present, she is constantly reminded of her inability for her to change her situation. Because she was unable to change her predicament, she is adamant to make her daughter's life much better than her own; there are much more opportunities for her daughter, and she will be sure that she takes them. This is shown when Esperanza's mother says, "I could have been somebody, you know? Esperanza, you go to school. Study hard." (91)

Stylistic devices: Cisneros uses refrain in this passage. The quote from Esperanza's mother, "I could have been somebody, you know?" (90) stresses how close her mother was to "being somebody" but unable to do so. The regret that she feels is amplified by the constant use of this phrase; with this repeated phrase, the readers are impacted with her loss.

Connections: In Mango Street, there are many other victims of this situation. Many people, like Esperanza's mother, could have been more successful if it were not for their past or current situation. Another example of someone who is overwhelmed with real-life problems that block them from achieving something themselves is in the vignette "There Was an Old Woman She Had So Many Children She Didn't Know What to Do. In this vignette, Esperanza says about Rosa Vargas and her children, "How can they help it with only one mother who is tired all the time... and who cries every day for the man who left without even leaving a dollar for bologna..." (29) Rosa Vargas has many problems in her current life that she cannot pursue any of her own dreams. She must carry out duties that take up all her time.


Eunice (last edited Jan 30, 2015 05:44PM ) Jan 30, 2015 02:40PM   0 votes
The House on Mango Street: "Beautiful & Cruel"

Speaker - The speaker of the vignette is Esperanza

Quote: "...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. In the movies there is always one with red red lips who is beautiful and cruel. She is the one who drives the men crazy and laughs them all away. Her power is her own. She will not give it away... I am who leaves the table like a man, without putting back the chair or picking up the plate" (88-89).

Situation: In this vignette, Esperanza is expressing how she doesn’t want to be like the other girls. She doesn’t want to wait around for a man to swoop in and save her. Esperanza wants to be fierce and powerful, just like the women in the movies. She wants to never have to rely on men because she can be just as powerful as they’ll ever be. After seeing the movies with all the women who are “beautiful and cruel” (89), Esperanza is inspired to start her own little rebellion by acting as a man would.

Significance: Esperanza is expected to fulfill her roles of being a woman in the society, but that’s not what she wants to do. Esperanza wants to be different and not have to dependent on someone else to help her leave Mango Street. Esperanza wants to be her own savior. In fact, Esperanza admits to not wanting to be married like all the other girls in her neighborhood when she says, “I have decided not to grow up tame like the others who lay their necks on the threshold waiting for the ball and chain” (88). Realizing her life could very well be like those women in the movies, Esperanza starts to rebel against the ideals of society. Esperanza’s maturity and her journey to being independent can be seen in this vignette.

Stylistic Devices: In this vignette, Cisneros uses metaphors and symbols. Cisneros also includes a theme. When Esperanza expresses how she was the “ugly daughter” that “nobody comes for”, the “ugly daughter” represents a woman who is stubborn and hard-headed, a woman who chooses not to go by the rules. It’s a symbol for all the women who believed that women should have the same rights, jobs, wages, and everything else as a man. The metaphor, “waiting for the ball and chain”, is used to compare how a man will treat his wife during this time period. The ball is the man while the chain is how men would treat women, locked up in the house to do house chores and everything else a housewife would do. The woman with the “red red lips who is beautiful and cruel” and “drives the men crazy and laughs them all away” is a symbol of an independent woman who chooses to keep her power and her dignity. The theme that Cisneros suggests in this vignette is that you can always change your path, no matter what. As long as you don’t let anything interfere with your mindset of changing your life, nothing can stop you, which is exactly what Esperanza’s trying to do. She’s not allowing her status, gender, nor background from stopping her get what she wants.

Connection: Throughout the book, Esperanza has always expressed her desire to be freed from her expectations in life. The first time Esperanza shows it was in the very first vignette, “The House on Mango Street”. Esperanza wanted to leave her house because of how ashamed she was of it. In “My Name”, Esperanza informs the reader of how she doesn’t want to live up to her grandmother’s name. She doesn’t want to “inherit her place by the window” (11). In the vignette, “Marin”, Esperanza shows the reader how other girls in her community escape. Unlike Esperanza, every other girl in the neighborhood wish for a rich man who’ll “take you to live in a big house far away” (26). Women in “The House on Mango Street” are seen trying to escape by getting married to a not so special someone, but a rich someone. That’s what sets Esperanza apart from others. Esperanza, like Alicia, rely on themselves to make a change in their lives. They are independent, strong women who are just trying to change the future that was planned out ahead of them by going against the rules that society had set for them.

Eunice Castro
Period 6


Quote:"You can never have too much sky. You can fall asleep and wake up drunk on sky, and sky can keep you safe when you are sad. Here there is too much sadness and not enough sky. Butterflies too are few and so are flowers and most things that are beautiful. Still, we take what we can and make the best of it."
Speaker:Esperanza
Situation:Esperanza talks about the sky and it's symbolic meaning.She talks of too much sadness in the world and not enough sky and other beautiful things that exist,"Butterflies too are few and so are flowers and most things that are beautiful."
Significance:The sky symbolizes dreams or rather the lack of it. In the world she lives in people are too busy feeling sad and down about the life they currently live to look up at the sky and dream.Dreams are what push people to work their hardest towards their goal and without it life becomes colorless and bleak. Everyday becomes the same as yesterday and people forget to look forward into the future. Esperanza believes the current world lacks the beauty of life that makes people smile, but even if they don't smile they make the best of what they can.
Stylistic devices:Esperanza compares dreams to the sky and how everyone takes it for granted.The sky is something that is always there,but people never look at it and see how beautiful it really is.The same goes for dreams, everyone can have one and it makes life better for those who do, but often people ignore it just like the sky.
Connection:This connects to everyone is the story that do not dream. They feel nothing but sadness for the life they live and forget to dream.
Justin Yao
Period 6


Brian (last edited Jan 30, 2015 10:46AM ) Jan 30, 2015 10:45AM   0 votes
The House on Mango Street "Laughter"

Quote: from "Laughter"
"Nenny and I don't look like sisters...not right away. Not the way you can tell with Rachel and Lucy who have the same fat popsicle lips like everybody else in their family. But me and Nenny, we are more alike than you would know... And other things I can't explain."
"Rachel and Lucy look at me like I'm crazy, but before they can let out a laugh, Nenny says: Yes, that's Mexico all right. That's what I was thinking exactly."

Speaker: Esperanza is narrating

Situation: Esperanza is explaining to the reader how Nenny and herself share more mental similarities than physical ones. They have a deeper connection than Rachel and Lucy as they share the same thoughts instead of the same physical features. Esperanza feels a stronger connection with her sister as they both interpret the same house as Mexico.

Significance: Esperanza feels safer and more secure knowing that someone else knows the feeling of homesickness. The friendship that Esperanza and Nenny share are much stronger than those of friends as they shared much more of their experiences together. They stick up for each other, when friends would laugh, and have the same longing for a real home. Their similarities are not on the outside but the inside as Esperanza says "Nenny and I don't look like sisters... not right away." and when Nenny says "Yes, that's Mexico all right. That's what I was thinking exactly.

Stylistic devices: "Not the shy ice cream bells' giggle of Rachel and Lucy's family, but all of a sudden and surprised like a pile of dishes breaking" Cineros uses similes like this to give the reader a sound that they can connect to. The house that reminds the two sisters like Mexico symbolizes the home and friendship that Esperanza and Nenny want and have.

Connections: The relationship between Esperanza and Nenny is unique as the other siblings like the Vargas' don't care and love each other as much. Their desire for a home is shared by all residents on Mango street, as they want to live in a place that they can be proud of, and call their own.

Brian Chan, Period 3


The House on Mango Street
The House on Mango Street "Sally"

Quote: "Sally is the girl with eyes like Egypt and nylons the color of smoke. The boys at school think she's beautiful because her hair is shiny black like raven feathers and when she laughs, she flicks her hair back like a satin shawl over her shoulders and laugh." (pg. 81)
"You become a different Sally. You pull your shirt straight, you rub the blue paint off your eyelids. You don't laugh, Sally. You look at your feet and walk fast to the house you can't come out from." (pg. 82)

Speaker: Esperanza is narrating.

Situation: Esperanza notices Sally, a teenage girl like her, and wants to be friends with her and to understand her. Esperanza is envious of Sally's good looks but is unsure of her stability. Sally didn't have anyone to lean on or talk to after her best friend Cheryl left her. Esperanza relates Sally's struggles with her own and realizes that Sally and her are not that much different. Esperanza knows how Sally is lonely all the time and switches between two personalities; as a free spirit, playing and laughing with boys, and as a trapped spirit, trapped by her father and by her beauty.

Significance: Esperanza relates herself with Sally and sees that Sally is also trapped. Both Sally and her want to get out and be free but they are pulled back by conditions. Esperanza expressed her will to be free by explaining how she wants to leave Mango Street and live somewhere else. Sally expresses her will to be free by hanging out with boys and looking beautiful. Esperanza longs to be able to talk with Sally and says, "... when all you wanted, all you wanted, Sally, was to love and to love and to love and to love, and no one could call that crazy." (pg. 83)

Stylistic devices: Esperanza looks to Sally as a beautiful model who has a secret personality that shows who she really is. The boys at school are like the people who live in the world and laugh at the women who want to be freed.

Connections: Esperanza is finding more and more girls that she can relate who all want to be freed and fly away but are held back. As Esperanza illustrates the stories of the women, she inserts her own shared desire to be free and to live.

Keon Peng
Period 9
January 30, 2015


Brenda (last edited Jan 30, 2015 10:40AM ) Jan 30, 2015 10:28AM   -1 votes
The House on Mango Street, "Beautiful and Cruel"

Speaker- Esperanza is narrating this vignette.

Quote- " In the movies there is always one with red red lips who is beautiful and cruel. She is the one who drives the men crazy and laughs them all away. Her power is her own. She will not give it away. I have begun my own quiet war. Simple. Sure. I am one who leaves the table like a man, without putting back the chair or picking up the plate"(pg 89).

The quote above shows how Esperanza feels power should be like. She is a girl and leaving the table like a man shows how she believes in order for women to be powerful, they should act like a man. She also desires to be like the women in the movies, beautiful and cruel. She wants her own power and will never give it away.

Situation- In this vignette, Esperanza feels as if she is useless and a person "nobody comes for." She envies her sister for being pretty and being able to talk to boys while she can't. Her mom explains that she will soon be who she wants to be, but Esperanza doesn't want to wait. She wants to fight for what she desires.

Significance- Esperanza notices how the pretty girls around her get whatever they want and are lucky. She is beginning to feel insecure of herself which shows that she is maturing Now she is beginning to care what she looks like and how she can't speak to people because of her appearance. She sees women in movies who are "beautiful and cruel" and she desires to be the same way. She see's people around her who are tied down by someone or something, instead of being free. Esperanza is fighting for freedom and is avoiding anything getting in her way.

Stylistic Devices- Esperanza speaks is short sentences, and makes points clear. This allows the reader to understand how she is portraying her feelings.

Connections- Esperanza desires to gain power of her own just like the women in the movies. "She will not give it away.." Esperanza is maturing and desires to be beautiful and cruel, with the power and control of freedom. She doesn't want to find herself in situations similar to the people around her.

Brenda Lerma
Period 3

F 25x33
Arianna Craft I like how you compared her wanting beauty and power and she had to choose between one.
Feb 03, 2015 05:47PM · flag

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