The House on Mango Street Discussion Guide:

A Few Conversation Starters.

This book is Banned-The House on Mango Street discussion guide

Use this discussion guide to inspire in-depth thinking, and jump-start a conversation about The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros. There’s plenty here to set your mental wheels in motion.

  1. Why do you think Esperanza writes about her house (in the opening vignette of the book) before she tells the reader about her name, which doesn’t occur until three segments later?
  2. In the vignette “Boys & Girls,” Esperanza describes herself as “a balloon tied to an anchor.” What does this metaphor mean, and what does it tell you about Esperanza?
  3. Why does Esperanza say she’s going to tell us a story about “a girl who didn’t want to belong,” rather than “a girl who didn’t feel like she belonged,” or simply “a girl who didn’t belong”? And why does this declaration come at the end of the book rather than the beginning?
  4. Meme Ortiz and his dog have two names? What does that tell us about the neighborhood Esperanza lives in? And why is that important?
  5. What’s another literary work with a scene that revolves around three prophetic sisters? What does that tell us about the “the aunts, the three sisters, las comadres” in the vignette The Three Sisters, and the message they give Esperanza?
  6. In Cathy Queen of Cats, why is Cathy’s family moving? And what does this mean to Esperanza?
  7. What do the trees symbolize in Four Skinny Trees? What does Esperanza learn from the trees?
  8. In No Speak English, why is Mamacita upset when her child starts repeating the Pepsi commercial in English?
  9. What important advice does Esperanza get from her mother? Why does her mother give this advice?
  10. What “quiet war” has Esperanza begun in Beautiful and Cruel?

And be sure to send us your newly-discovered insights
in the Comments section at the bottom of
The House on Mango Street: A bridge of unity.

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