Black, white, and orange illustration of Esperanza standing in front of a building or structure

The House on Mango Street

by Sandra Cisneros

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Last Updated January 9, 2023.

“Eskimos” have thirty different names for snow, and there are at least ten names for different types of cloud. Today, all the clouds Esperanza can see are cumulus, but she can think of many others as she looks up at the sky with Nenny, Lucy, and Rachel: clouds that look like shaving cream, or combed hair, or fields of sheep. Then she says that there are puffy clouds that look like your face when you wake up after sleeping in the daytime. One of the other children says that these clouds look like Esperanza’s fat face, not hers, and they begin to trade insults: “foot fleas . . . chicken lips . . . cockroach jelly.”

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