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Group Read Discussions > The house on Mango Street - Spoilers

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message 1: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10035 comments Mod
Lay it on me....


message 2: by Efe (new)

Efe | 181 comments I read this book last year and loved its lyrical quality.


message 3: by Carol (new)

Carol What do you mean by lyrical. It was the language of the street for me. I loved it also but for different reasons. I thought it was spoken from the heart and was words that a young woman would express as she was maturing. I am still trying to decide if one character stood heads above the rest. All the characters were memorable.


message 4: by Efe (new)

Efe | 181 comments By lyrical I mean it almost read like the lyrics of a song for me. It was very obvious that the writer was a poet first and foremost. It almost didn't read like prose, and I loved it all the more for that.


message 5: by Carol (new)

Carol Ah I see what you mean. Yes it was obvious she was a poet first and foremost. I loved the language of the book also. It was hard to realize this book was written 25 years ago. It as relevant to society today, as it did then. We really do not change so fast after all.


message 6: by Karina (new)

Karina Read this book several times in the years past and will have to read it again. I do agree the book had a lyrical quality to it. I thought more people would have read this one, as it is an easy and fast read!


message 7: by Carly (new)

Carly Svamvour (faganlady) | 220 comments I have it in from the library but haven't found time to read it - I see there's not much discussion going anyway.

Maybe we can revive the thread later.


message 8: by Carly (new)

Carly Svamvour (faganlady) | 220 comments I have it in from the library but haven't found time to read it - I see there's not much discussion going anyway.

Maybe we can revive the thread later.


message 9: by SandyC (new)

SandyC (sandyc88) | 173 comments This is one of those books that I have been "wanting to read" for many years. I thought it would be a happy, upbeat story about a little girl having fun on Mango Street. Boy, was I mistaken! This book was so sad. Yes, there was hope at the end but mostly it was depressing.


message 10: by Carol (new)

Carol I think she wanted to draw attention to the hard facts of life in the ghettos. They didn't realize they were in the ghetto until the kids were older. Don't you think that happens even now? Until kids reach a certain age they are unaware of the neighborhood unless it is gang riddled and unsafe. Then their parents fear is transferred to the children.


message 11: by Nicole (new)

Nicole (nkb992) I've read this both in English and in Spanish (for an English and a Spanish class). My favorite part of the book is that it is written in the form of vignettes. Even though they can be read as separate from each other, they also tie together really well to give a cohesive glimpse into life on Mango Street. I wouldn't say I loved it but I did like it. I think I ended up giving it 3 stars.


message 12: by Heather L (new)

Heather L  (wordtrix) Nicole wrote: "My favorite part of the book is that it is written in the form of vignettes. Even though they can be read as separate from each other, they also tie together really well to give a cohesive glimpse into life on Mango Street."

That's what I liked about the book when I read it last summer. You don't have to read them in order, and they are short enough to fit one in while waiting in line, or for an appointment.


message 13: by RedSycamore (last edited Mar 22, 2011 07:19PM) (new)

RedSycamore | 9 comments Kitty wrote: "It was hard to realize this book was written 25 years ago. It as relevant to society today, as it did then...."

I agree! I was surprised to find the language was not only modern, but completely accessible. When I saw the book was a series of short stories I was afraid they would be stuffy and ostentatious - I've never been a fan of the extremely short story format. Instead Cisneros' stories felt honest, poetic, and natural.

This little book was a pleasant surprise for me. So glad it was picked for this month, because I never would have picked it up otherwise.


message 14: by Lillie (new)

Lillie | 25 comments I guess I'm going to be the only dissenter here, lol. I wanted to like this book, her writing, etc but it didn't happen for me. Mostly, I was frustrated because just as I was getting into a story, it ended. Bottom line, I wanted more. I felt like I was in the trailer portion of the movies. Little snipets were all we were allowed.


message 15: by Rosanna (last edited May 10, 2011 08:14PM) (new)

Rosanna (rosannabell) | 125 comments This book consists of a series of vignettes loosely linked by themes of poverty, oppression, and unrealized dreams. The book stunningly conveys the emotions and fears of a young girl coming to age in a harsh world, a world where options are limited. Sandra Cisneros illustrates that young girls living in the slums, feel forced into marrying, to escape an endless life of poverty and hardship. However, she critiques the idea of marriage being a viable solution; she shows that many of the girls, who choose marriage as an escape, marry abusive men who treat them as possessions and the girls end up in a prison just as bad as the one they left. I felt that her ideas on women oppression and feminist ideas were interesting and well founded, but I did think it was a little over done, portraying all men in abusive roles.
I thought it was really interesting that in her author’s note it states that “she is nobody’s mother and nobody’s wife”. This statement carried mixed emotions to me. On the one hand it shows that twenty seven years after writing “The House on Mango Street”, she has remained true to her feminist ideas of marriage and independence—an accomplishment because very few actually stick to their youthful convictions—but it also filled me with sadness because it shows that she has never gotten over her childhood trauma to find someone she could trust enough to want to marry.
The reason I gave this book three stars is that some of the vignettes are really powerful, while others are just forgettable. Also, the only character in the book that truly has dimension is Esperanza. Throughout the book, Cisneros tries to critique stereotypes of class and race, yet her characters, except Esperanza, remain cardboard cutouts of people from the slums. Overall it’s a good book, with some minor flaws.


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