The House on Mango Street Part IV: Marin, Those Who Don’t, and There Was an Old Woman She Had So Many Children She Didn’t Know What to Do

Sandra Cisneros

Part IV: Marin, Those Who Don’t, and There Was an Old Woman She Had So Many Children She Didn’t Know What to Do

Study Questions
1. Why does Esperanza like Marin?

2. Why is Marin saving her money?

3. Why does Marin want to get a job downtown if she stays on Mango Street?

4. According to Marin, why is it important to be out front at night?

5. Why are people who get lost in Esperanza’s neighborhood afraid?

6. Why isn’t Esperanza scared in her neighborhood?

7. How does Esperanza feel when she goes into a neighborhood “of another color”?

8. Why can’t Rosa Vargas take care of her children?

9. What are the Vargas children like?

10. Why don’t the neighbors worry about the Vargas children anymore?

Answers
1. Esperanza likes Marin because Marin “is older and knows lots of things.”

2. Marin is saving her money because the boy she is engaged to in Puerto Rico hasn’t gotten a job yet.

3. Marin thinks she may meet a man on the subway who will marry her and take her far away.

4. Marin says it is essential that the boys be able to see them.

5. People who get lost in her neighborhood are afraid because everyone around them is “brown,” and they think that Esperanza’s neighborhood is dangerous.

6. Esperanza isn’t scared because she knows the people in her neighborhood, and she is comfortable being around others who are “brown.”

7. Esperanza feels the way “those who don’t” feel: she is nervous and scared.

8. Rosa Vargas can’t take care of her children because she has too many and she is all alone and poor.

9. The Vargas children are reckless and disrespectful.

10. The neighbors don’t care anymore because the Vargas children don’t listen to and don’t care about anyone, not even themselves.