The House on Mango Street


The House on Mango Street is a collection of vignettes written by Sandra Cisneros.  The book provides a record of her life growing up in a poor immigrant family in Chicago.

Edna’s Ruthie (pg67-69)


Ruthie wasn’t quite right.  She seemed to have  a life off of Mango Street, but it disappeared.  What happened to her?  Write a summary of the vignette and the character it describes.  Have you ever known anyone like her?  Someone who could have been much but, seemed to let it all slip away.  Why does this happen to some people?

First Job


In the vignette “First Job” pg 53-55, Esparanza starts her first day of work.  Describe how she must feel at her new job.  Her day seems to be going well until there was an incident with an other employee.  Tell what happened and how that must have made Esparanza feel.  Why did this incident happen?  How would the issue be different if it happened today?

Rice Sandwich


In Rice Sandwich, Esperanza wants to eat in the Canteen more than anything else.  Explain why her mom did not want her to, and eventually gave in?  What was the Nuns reaction to the request?  Why couldn’t Esperanza defend her position?  How did the experience end?  Share a time when you wanted to do something you thought would be special but, ended up a big disappointment.

The Family of Little Feet


In the Family of Little Feet, the girls get a few pairs of high heel shoes that they trade and wear around the neighborhood.   They are flattered by all the attention they get; jealousy from the girls at the Laundromat, comments from the boy on the bike, and even compliments from the bum at the tavern.  It gets a little dicey when the bum asks to trade a kiss for a dollar and Rachel thinks about it…  What do think this vignette was really talking about?  Do you recall a time when you were exposed to something “adult” before your time?  What does the incident with the “bum” allude to?

Those Who Don’t


In the eleventh vignette “those who don’t” the writer says “all brown all around, we are safe”.  In your opinion what does this mean?  How would you describe this?  In this story the kids Rosa’s Eddie V, Davey, and Fat Boy are those who don’t fit in, or don’t belong there.  How would you feel if you were in these kids positions?  How would you feel if you were walking in someone else’s territory? CA

Darius & the Clouds


I think this vignette is about the meaning of life and where people stand in life.  Think of Darius.  What do you think the clouds looked like?  Have you ever seen a sign from “God”?  Would you think it was a good or a bad thing?  Has a “sign” impacted your life?  TD



Think about Marin.  A beautiful young woman who waits.  Waits for a “man” to come and take her away.  Where to?  Think about some day far in the future when you have children of your own.  How would you want your daughter to look at life?  Would it be different that Marin’s attitude?  What could you do as a parent to teacher her differently?  Would you want her to be dependent on others or depend on herself?



The girl’s cousin Louie, seems to have stolen a car.  But, it doesn’t seem that the girls have  a clue as to what is really happening.  They joyfully wave as he is taken away, happy that they were able to take a ride.  What does this say about the girls and their place in life?  Are they wise to the ways of the world?  Should they be?  Think of a time you were witness to something that wasn’t so innocent, but you didn’t have an idea for what was really going on.  What happened?  Do you feel foolish now not to have understood?

Red Balloon


In the third vignette “Boy and Girls” Esperenza says “Until then I am a red balloon, a balloon tied to an anchor”.  What dos she mean by this metaphor.  What can you tell about her personality, dreams and aspirations?  Why does she feel tied down?  Why do you think she’s trapped, if at all?

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