In The House on Mango Street, what is Esperanza's neighborhood like?

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Esperanza's neighborhood is central to the setting of The House on Mango Street. Nearly all the action in the book's poems and vignettes take place out and about in this neighborhood rather than in Esperanza's house. Her barrio is a poor, mostly Latino section of Chicago where outsiders rarely...

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Esperanza's neighborhood is central to the setting of The House on Mango Street. Nearly all the action in the book's poems and vignettes take place out and about in this neighborhood rather than in Esperanza's house. Her barrio is a poor, mostly Latino section of Chicago where outsiders rarely go. Here, everyone seems to know everyone else's business and public gossip is a common pastime. This is a vibrant neighborhood that includes Esperanza's school, a number of mom and pop corner stores, Gil's junk shop, and kids playing in the street. Most of the homes here have a neglected garage and a small yard separating them from their neighbors.

In spite of the liveliness of the neighborhood, Esperanza finds its poverty and insularness nearly suffocating. Even though Esperanza is initially excited to move in, her new neighbors warn her about the deteriorating nature of the barrio.

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Esperanza lives in a very poor neighborhood, called a bario, in Chicago. It is a street of run down houses and questionable neighbors. The neighborhood is becoming "worse" when Esperanza's family moves into their house, as evidenced by Cathy's family (a girl Esperanza meets in the beginning of the novella) moving away. Though poor, the neighborhood is full of colorful characters like Rachel and Lucy, the sisters Esperanza becomes close friends with, Meme, a boy who jumps out of a tree, and the Vargas children, a family of many children who run around uncontrolled. Esperanza's neighborhood is also somewhat dangerous, especially to young girls, as is evidenced in the vignette "Clowns" where Esperanza is raped.

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