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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Edna’s Ruthie Summary

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Ruthie is the daughter of Edna, a bad-tempered old woman who owns an apartment building and is always evicting her tenants. Unlike her mother, Ruthie likes to laugh and play like a child, even though she is grown-up and has been married. She likes candy but can only eat the soft kind because her teeth hurt, and she keeps postponing her trips to the dentist. She is good at whistling, singing, and dancing, and she loves books, though she cannot read any longer, as she gets headaches. Esperanza once memorized “The Walrus and the Carpenter” and recited it to Ruthie, but Ruthie’s only response was to tell her that she had beautiful teeth.

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