Finding Home: The House on Mango Street

Lesson 15

Objective

Explain how the structure of the final chapters of The House on Mango Street develop the reader’s understanding of Esperanza’s understanding of her identity and dreams for the future.

Readings and Materials

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Target Task

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Writing Prompt

Compare pages 3 and 109. What lines does Cisneros repeat on both of these pages? What is the impact of repeating these lines at the very beginning and end of the text?

Key Questions

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  • What is repeated in the chapter “A House of My Own”? What is the impact of this structural choice?

  • What is different about the lines on these two pages? What does the change emphasize about Esperanza’s experience?

  • How does the last paragraph of the book connect back to the conversation that Esperanza has with the sisters on page 105? What does this connection reveal about Esperanza?

  • What do you notice about the structure of the last lines of the text? What is the impact of this choice?

  • Discussion: What do you predict for Esperanza’s future based on the last chapters of this text?

Lesson Guidance

Standard and Literary Concepts

  • One of the structures Cisneros uses in this book is “framing,” or the repetition of ideas/images/lines of text from the beginning of the text. This can be a way for the reader to trace the development of the character over the course of the text and to reflect on how (and why) the meaning of those words/ideas/images have changed for the reader after reading through the book.

Notes

  • A substantial part of today’s lesson can be spent reflecting on Esperanza as a character—how has she changed? What kind of person has she become? What kind of person does she want to be in the future? How have the events of the text brought her to this understanding of herself?

Homework

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Common Core Standards

  • RL.7.5 — Analyze how a drama's or poem's form or structure (e.g., soliloquy, sonnet) contributes to its meaning.