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In The House on Mango Street, why in particular has Esperanza sought out the...

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ashleyc13 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 5, 2011 at 9:48 AM via web

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In The House on Mango Street, why in particular has Esperanza sought out the fortunteller, Elenita?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted June 5, 2011 at 7:59 PM (Answer #1)

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If we have a look at the vignette entitled "Elenita, Cards, Palm, Water," we can see that Esperanza approaches Elenita with one specific thing she wants to know, though at first Elenita tells her other things about her future first before Esperanza reveals what the reason for her visit really is. She is told that she will go to a wedding soon and that she will lose an anchor of arms, but it is then that Esperanza asks her specific question:

What about a house, I say, because that's what I came for.

We see therefore the way that a desire for a house and a desire to escape her present abode and the community in which Esperanza lives dominates her thoughts and desires, as she is willing to pay five dollars to consult los espiritus (the spirits) over this question. The answer she receives, a "home in the heart," of course baffles Esperanza, yet by the end of this great novel we see the truth and wisdom of these words, as Esperanza does realise how attached she is to this community as she leaves it.

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