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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How does Esperanza differ from other women in The House on Mango Street?

Quick answer:

Esperanza is different from the other women on Mango Street in that she has aspirations to transcend the traditional female role and is stronger than the other women. She will leave to pursue her dreams.

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Esperanza is different from the other women on Mango Street because, first, she and her family are newcomers, and she doesn't feel she belongs there. The "sad, red" house is small, the worst one on the block, and Esperanza feels disappointed and alienated. The house doesn't align with her dreams.

But Esperanza differs more profoundly from the other women on Mango Street because of her aspirations. She wants to break out of the traditional female role and be a writer. She plans to get ahead in the world. Like her great grandmother, the women are Mango Street are more likely to "wait by the window" than pursue their hopes and dreams— or they will let a man string them along while life passes them by. Esperanza has inherited her great grandmother's name, but she doesn't want to live as she did—or as so many other women and girls on Mango Street do.

Esperanza, at the end of the book, describes herself as stronger than the other women on her street. She is too strong to be kept there and kept down. She says she will leave with her books and paper for all the women who can't. She will write—and later, she will return, but not until she has made something of her life.

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