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The House on Mango Street

by Sandra Cisneros
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Quotes of Esperanza's naivete in The House On Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros.

One good quote that shows Esperanza's naivete in The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros is the following, after she runs away from the boys kissing Sally. She thinks they're attacking her.

I had to hide myself at the other end of the garden, in the jungle part, under a tree that wouldn’t mind if I lay down and cried a long time. I closed my eyes like tight stars so that I wouldn’t, but I did.

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For much of the story, Esperanza is hopelessly naïve about the world. To a large extent, she inhabits a dream world, an imaginary universe in which she forges her own identity.

Unfortunately, this makes things all the more difficult for Esperanza when she has to deal with the kind of...

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For much of the story, Esperanza is hopelessly naïve about the world. To a large extent, she inhabits a dream world, an imaginary universe in which she forges her own identity.

Unfortunately, this makes things all the more difficult for Esperanza when she has to deal with the kind of real-life situations that are all part of the process of growing up. One such situation involves a bunch of boys stealing Sally's keys and refusing to hand them back until she gives each one of them a kiss.

It's clear from what Esperanza tells us that Sally is only pretending to be mad at the boys and accedes to their wishes. But still Esperanza feels mad; deep down, she feels that there's something not quite right about this situation. So she dashes off to the home of Tito, one of the boys playing the little game with Sally. She tells Tito's mother what's happened, but she's completely uninterested. Without adult help, Esperanza has to go back to the garden and save Sally from the wicked clutches of the boy.

But when she gets there, with three big sticks and a brick, the boys tell her to leave them alone. Sally, for her part, tells Esperanza to go home. Everyone looks at Esperanza like she's completely insane and so she feels ashamed.

Not knowing what else to do, Esperanza runs away and hides:

I had to hide myself at the other end of the garden, in the jungle part, under a tree that wouldn’t mind if I lay down and cried a long time. I closed my eyes like tight stars so that I wouldn’t, but I did.

Ashamed and embarrassed, Esperanza wishes she were dead. And in her naivety, she still doesn't understand the kissing game that Sally was playing with the boys, nor why it wasn't a good idea to take off the way she did.

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