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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Part VIII Quiz: Papa Who Wakes Up Tired in the Dark, Born Bad, and Elenita, Cards, Palm, Water

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Study Questions

1. Whose funeral must Esperanza’s father attend?

2. Why does Esperanza hold her father?

3. Why does Esperanza think she will go to hell?

4. What is Esperanza’s theory about disease?

5. What does Esperanza discover when she reads The Waterbabies to her aunt?

6. What does Aunt Lupe say to Esperanza about writing?

7. What does Esperanza wish she could do while Elenita is getting ready?

8. What interrupts Elenita while she is telling Esperanza’s fortune?

9. How much does Esperanza pay for her fortune?

10. What does Elenita tell Esperanza about her future?


1. He is going to his father’s funeral.

2. Esperanza holds him because she realizes how much she loves him.

3. Esperanza thinks she will go to hell because she was born on a “bad day” and because she made fun of Aunt Lupe.

4. Esperanza believes that disease is indiscriminate—it can attack anyone at any time for no reason.

5. Esperanza discovers that her aunt is blind.

6. Aunt Lupe tells Esperanza to keep writing because writing will keep her free.

7. Esperanza wishes she could go into the living room and watch Bugs Bunny with Ernie.

8. Elenita is interrupted by the kids’ fighting.

9. Esperanza pays $5.00.

10. Elenita tells Esperanza that she will go to a wedding, that she has lost an anchor of arms, and that she will have a home in the heart.

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