The
House on
Mango
Street
What is a Vignette?
 A short, well written sketch or
descriptive scene.
 It does not have a plot which
would make it a short story,
but it does reveal something
about the elements in it.
 It may reveal character,
mood, or tone.
 It may have a theme or idea of
its own that it wants to
convey.
 It is the description of the
scene or character that is
important.
 What may be the pro to this text
structure? Why would an author
choose to compose a text in this
fashion?
 Read the chapter titles and make
prediction about what this tells
us about the story?
 What do these titles reveal about
the narrator / speaker?
About Sandra Cisneros
 Born: Chicago in l954, the
third child and only daughter
in a family of seven children.
 Occupations: teacher and
counselor to high-school
dropouts, taught creative
writing at every level except
first grade and pre-school, a
college recruiter, an arts
administrator, and as a
visiting writer
 http://www.youtube.com/wa
tch?v=0Pyf89VsNmg (story)
Sandra Cisneros’ Inspiration & Story
 “I am the sum of all
stories that pass through
me.” And so are you.
 What do you know?
What can you write
about that no one else
can write about?
 Writers block means
you’re afraid to say what
you really mean to say.
“I am the sum of all stories that
pass through me.” Mind Mapping
(activity 1.8)
 You are in the viewing
room of your life…
 Brainstorm a list of as
many important
moments (stories) in
your life.
 Of that list, find 8 stories
that may share a
common thread.
 (need to keep this list for future use)
The House on Mango Street
Themes
1. Individual identity
and communal
loyalty
2. Estrangement and
loss
3. Escape and return
4. Lure of romance and
the dead end of
sexual inequality &
oppression
Mango’s Appeal
 It speaks especially to
Latino Americans, but it
captures universal pangs
(of growing up and
finding oneself of)
otherness—“the shame
of being poor, of being
female, of being notquite-good enough.”
A Deceptive Work
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
Language seems simple but
it possesses the richness of
poetry.
Slang and breaks from
grammatical correctness
contribute to immediacy.
Narrated in a young voice,
yet it's convincing because
it's the creation of a mature
and sophisticated writer.
Stories come together to
tell one complete story.
Apparent randomness
disguises an artful
exploration of themes.
 A common misconception
with The House on Mango
Street is that it is concise
and readable, so therefore
it must be unliterary. Do
not be fooled. Cisneros is
sending you a message
about what it is like for
people growing up in the
world.
Think of the story of Little Red Riding Hood. Here are
some reminders:
 LRRH’s mother packs her






some goodies to take to
grandmother’s house
She starts on her way
She meets the wolf
She tells the wolf of her
destination and purpose
She is told of a shortcut
The wolf goes to the house
and takes care of
grandmother and replaces
her
LRRH is saved by a
woodsman
What messages were being sent to you?
Did you get all of them? Ask yourself:
 What is LRRH’s name? How old?
 Who would send a little girl out into the
woods with wolves?
 What sex is the wolf? Young or mature?
 Who saves LRRH?
 In this story, which sex is active and
which sex is passive?
 Why is the dominant color red?
 What do you think the wolf represents?
the path through the woods?
 What do you think the shortcut is all
about?
All of these questions deal with the theme.
Theme is what the story is about.
The Big AHA: Intelligent and
sophisticated people send messages
and they are not hidden messages.
They are messages that they expect
other intelligent and sophisticated
people to understand.
Read and Respond
“The House on Mango
Street” (3-5)
“My Name” (10-11)
?
?
What do
we learn
about
Esperanza
?
?
Its
meaning?
?
Like
name?
Change
it?
Your
Name?
Nicknames
?
Story
behind
your
name?
Progression of House on Mango Street
Vignettes
Begins with self & family
(comfort), moves to friends
(Nenny, unknowingly her
closest friend), wanting to
grow up, experiences harsh
realities (coat room and
death), other women and
the role they take on, signs
from other women that
Esperanza should stay
strong and be more, and a
willingness to get out and
give back.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JryqbTk0ETQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2Axoc2K1rU
(“Chanclas” and “Beautiful and Cruel”)
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