The House On Mango Street Book Summary, by Sandra Cisneros

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1-Page Summary of The House On Mango Street

In the novel, The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros, Esperanza is a young girl who moves into her own house with her family. She has always wanted to live in a nice house and have privacy. However, when she sees that her new home is run-down and small, she regrets moving there and wishes for something better.

The main character, Esperanza, goes through a lot of changes in this book. She becomes more mature and grows up quickly with all the new experiences she has. She develops relationships with friends as well as her first crush, deals with sexual assault, learns how to write from one of her neighbors and possibly finds a path for herself in the future.

Esperanza moves to a new neighborhood and makes friends with girls who live across the street. They play in their small community, go on adventures, and explore a junk shop. The girls are about to enter puberty, so they experience sexual awkwardness as well as other things that come with growing up. At school, Esperanza is ashamed of her poor family and difficult-to-pronounce name. She shares her poems only with older women she trusts.

During the summer, Esperanza enters puberty. She starts to like boys watching her dance and she enjoys dreaming about them. Her newfound sexual maturity combined with the death of two family members brings her closer to adulthood. She closely watches older women in her neighborhood who are even more stuck in their situations than she is. Meanwhile, during the beginning of school year, Esperanza befriends Sally a girl her age who is sexually mature than Lucy or Rachel. Sally has an agenda: using boys and men as an escape route from abuse by her father. This friendship results in a crisis when Sally leaves Esperanza alone and a group of boys sexually assault Esperanza while she’s off on vacation with Sally’s family for part of August (as mentioned above).

Esperanza has a traumatic experience with Sally and sees her neighborhood women as being trapped in their lives, so she wants to get out of the neighborhood. However, when she thinks about leaving, she realizes that if she leaves Mango Street behind, it will always be a part of her life. She’ll have to return at some point to help other people in the same situation. At the end of the year, Esperanza is still on Mango Street but has matured considerably and now sees writing as a way for her to escape from this place emotionally. In time it may also help her physically leave by helping her find success through writing or another means.

The House On Mango Street Book Summary, by Sandra Cisneros

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