The House on Mango Street Part II: My Name, Cathy Queen of Cats, and Our Good Day

Sandra Cisneros

Part II: My Name, Cathy Queen of Cats, and Our Good Day

Study Questions
1. What does Esperanza’s name mean in English and in Spanish?

2. After whom is Esperanza named?

3. What was Esperanza’s great-grandmother like?

4. What kind of name would Esperanza like for herself?

5. Why will Cathy be Esperanza’s friend “only till next Tuesday”?

6. Why is Cathy’s family leaving the neighborhood?

7. Why does Esperanza like Lucy and Rachel?

8. Why is Cathy not waiting when Esperanza gets back from buying the bike?

9. How does Esperanza think the girls will react to her name?

10. What does Rachel do that Esperanza thinks is “sassy”?

Answers
1. Esperanza’s name means “hope” in English, but “sadness or waiting” in Spanish.

2. Esperanza is named after her great-grandmother.

3. Esperanza’s great-grandmother was a “wild” woman who was very independent until she was forced to marry. After that, she was very sad.

4. Esperanza would like a name that is more like the “real” Esperanza, the one she says “nobody sees.” She would like a name that reveals who she really is, a name like “Zeze the X.”

5. Cathy will be Esperanza’s friend “only till next Tuesday” because that’s when her family is moving away from Mango Street.

6. Cathy says her family is leaving Mango Street because “the neighborhood is getting bad.” They’re leaving because it is getting too populated by Mexican-Americans and other minorities.

7. Esperanza likes Lucy and Rachel because they are poor and friendly.

8. Cathy is not waiting because she dislikes Rachel and Lucy, whom Esperanza has decided to befriend.

9. Esperanza is afraid the girls will laugh at her name and wishes it was something other than “Esperanza.”

10. Rachel insults a fat lady about her weight.