As a young adult novel, The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros is a coming-of-age story, and therefore, relationships play a key role in Esperanza’s development as a character. How she relates to others and is regarded in turn informs her understanding of herself as an individual and as a member of a community.
In the story “Our Good Day,” Esperanza describes her friendship with her neighbor Cathy and how she meets the sisters Lucy and Rachel. From what she shares with readers, it seems that Esperanza’s relationships at this point have conditional and transactional aspects to them. Yet she is able to negotiate a place for herself in a group and have fun.
The chapter begins with a conditional statement from Rachel, the youngest sister indicating the transactional nature of the friendship she offers to Esperanza:
If you give me five dollars I will be your friend forever.
Esperanza’s response further indicates the conditional aspect of how she relates to others:
Five dollars is...
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