Explain how Sandra Cisneros uses literary devices to develop mood and meaning.
Book: The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros pp. 56 – 64
How do the words that Cisneros uses on page 60 to describe Aunt Lupe’s apartment develop the mood of the scene? Provide specific words and phrases to support your idea.
On page 56, Cisneros uses the simile that Papa “crumples like a coat and cries.” What does this simile mean? What impact does this image have on the reader?
Pre-read pages 58 and 59. What words does Cisneros use to describe Aunt Lupe before she became ill? What words does she use to describe her when she is sick? How are the connotations of these words different?
On p. 59, Cisneros writes, “But I think diseases have no eyes. They pick with a dizzy finger anyone, just anyone.” What kind of figurative language is this example (if your students have encountered personification before; otherwise teach this concept before this lesson)? What idea is the author literally trying to convey? Explain.
Discussion: Why does Esperanza say that she is “born bad” and that she will “go to hell”? Do you agree that she should be ashamed of what she did? Why did she act that way? Have you ever done something that you thought was funny in the moment but later regretted?