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

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One significant event in The House on Mango Street is when Cathy tells Esperanza that her family is moving away from Mango Street. This is eye-opening for Esperanza, because Cathy is referring to the families of color moving in—including Esperanza's family. It's significant because it shows how racism can color...

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One significant event in The House on Mango Street is when Cathy tells Esperanza that her family is moving away from Mango Street. This is eye-opening for Esperanza, because Cathy is referring to the families of color moving in—including Esperanza's family. It's significant because it shows how racism can color even her interactions with people that she sees as friends. When she tries to make friends with two other girls, Cathy's perceptions of them are also colored by her prejudice and she tries to keep Esperanza away from them.

Another significant event is Esperanza's first job. It's at Peter Pan Photo Finishers; she's too young to work there but can lie about her age. It's a place where she learns some of the difficulties of being a grown up. She doesn't know whether she's allowed to rest and so she copies two other women who she assumes know what they're doing. She doesn't know who to eat with or where to take a break. It's clear Esperanza feels out of place, but she's learning to navigate the adult world. Unfortunately, she meets a bad man who appears to befriend her. Then he asks for a birthday kiss, grabs her, and kisses her.

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One of the most significant events in The House on Mango Street is when Esperanza gets her first job, which involves working at a photo finishing place. She is very shy and stays away from her co-workers during lunch and the break. However, when a man comes to speak with her, he kisses her and won't stop. These experiences are important because they not only acquaint Esperanza with the realities of being employed (like an adult) but also with the idea that she can't trust all of the adults she meets.

Another significant event occurs during the section "Red Clowns," when Esperanza waits for Sally at a carnival and is then sexually assaulted and perhaps raped. She says that this experience is not at all like the way Sally had portrayed sex. Esperanza is disillusioned, and she learns that the adults around her have not explained some aspects of reality to her. Esperanza later develops the idea of having a house of her own—not the house of a man—and she becomes determined to live her own life.

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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.

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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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