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 XII Quiz: Minerva Writes Poems and Bums in the Attic

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Study Questions

1. How old is Minerva?

2. What does Minerva do “every night and every day”?

3. What do Esperanza and Minerva share?

4. What is Minerva’s biggest trouble?

5. Is there anything Esperanza can do to help Minerva?

6. Where does Esperanza’s father work? What does he do?

7. Why doesn’t Esperanza want to go with the family to look at the houses anymore?

8. What does Esperanza think about people who live on hills?

9. What will guests in Esperanza’s house think is causing the noise in her attic?

10. What does Esperanza say she’ll never forget?


1. Minerva is just a little older than Esperanza, probably no more than 18.

2. Minerva cries and prays.

3. Minerva and Esperanza share their poems.

4. Minerva’s biggest trouble is her husband, who beats her and “keeps leaving.”

5. Esperanza says that there’s nothing she can do.

6. Esperanza’s father is a gardener who works in the gardens of the houses on the hill.

7. Esperanza doesn’t want to go because she is ashamed.

8. Esperanza thinks the people on the hills are so close to the stars that they don’t have the worries of people who live “too close to the earth,” like trash and rats.

9. Her guests will ask if rats are making the noise.

10. Esperanza says she’ll never forget who she is and where she came from

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