What are two significant events in The House On Mango Street?

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gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the vignette entitled "A Rice Sandwich," Esperanza asks her mother to pack her a lunch so that she can eat at the school's canteen. However, the nuns do not allow Esperanza to eat with the children in the canteen and make Esperanza point to her home. Esperanza is forced to identify her ugly home and begins to cry. She continues to cry during lunch in front of her classmates and is no longer allowed to eat with them at school. This vignette is significant because it illustrates how poverty personally affects Esperanza. Disparaging moments like the one depicted in "A Rice Sandwich" make Esperanza the strong, independent woman that she becomes later on in life.

Another significant vignette entitled "Red Clowns" portrays Esperanza's reaction to being sexually assaulted at a carnival. Esperanza goes to a carnival with Sally, who leaves her behind to wait alone by the red clowns. Esperanza's hysteric reaction to her attacker is revealed in this story, and it is implied that she is raped. Esperanza's traumatic experience is another significant moment in her life that shapes her outlook and perspective. It also highlights the theme examining gender roles throughout the Latin American community.

gbeatty eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are many important events in this book, which interweaves many family stories. I like to start with the first major event, which is the Corderos moving into the house on Mango Street. It is a major event for them (their first house), and is therefore full of expectation and emotion.


Another event that defines the book is when Rachel and Lucy new little sister dies. This loss is sad in itself, of course, but it is also when Esperanza gets her palm read. This sets up her wish in the final chapter, and the expectation that it might happen: that she might have her own house some day.

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The House on Mango Street

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