How can I describe Esperanza in Part 1 of The House on Mango Street?

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the first part of the book, Esperanza is a work in progress, observing astutely the world she lives in as she tries to find her place in it.  She is a seeker, alert and observant, aware of the conditions with which the women in her life have to contend, and thoughtfully examining how these conditions relate to her own life.  Like any other girl her age, she experiments with makeup and high heel shoes, only to step back when she discovers how these embellishments accentuate her womanhood and attract male attention of the type for which she is not ready.  She also explores and appreciates the dynamics within her own family, and while she learns the value of the love in her own home, she also begins to feel the limitations imposed upon her by her environment.  Esperanza wants more than what life in the barrio offers her, and it appears that she possesses the courage and initiative to reach beyond the confines of her immediate neighborhood to achieve better things.

As the story progresses and Esperanza matures, she evidences a sense of empathy and responsibility "for the ones (she will leave) behind".  Even as she distances herself from her family and the barrio, she resolves not to forget them.  She is ambitious enough to rise above the self-perpetuating cycle which entraps women who have little education and nothing to look forward to other than raising numerous children alone in abject poverty.  Esperanza wants something better for her life, but, when she has achieved it, she will not "forget who or where (she comes) from", and will return to help those she left behind who do not have the strength to get out on their own.

smiley19 | Student

you could describe esperanza as hard working at the beginning of this story but at the end she changes. She is a seeker and a understander. At the beginnig shes not very mature but as the story goes on she gets more mature and seems more respectful towards others. She also learns how to cope with her issues better.

miny | Student

How would you describe Esperanza?From what you have rad so far, What can you say things she values?

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The House on Mango Street

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