The House on Mango Street

Teaching and learning resources for the novel The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

Sandra Cisneros’s The House on Mango Street is a unique coming-of-age story told in the form of a seemingly simple series of vignettes. Despite its brevity, it packs a remarkable dramatic and stylistic punch.

The quote ID quiz linked here is a good way for students to test their memory and comprehension of the novel, and the practice passage analysis should be helpful to students preparing for a test involving literary analysis, such as the the AP Literature and Composition Exam.

Study Questions

1. Discuss the style and structure of the novel. What stylistic and structural choices did the author make, and how are they appropriate for the story and effective in expressing its meaning?

2. Discuss the major themes of the novel. What does it have to say about issues such as identity, growing up, family, and socioeconomic status?

3. Discuss the significance of the “house on Mango Street.” What does it represent, and what themes is it associated with?

4. What are the dominant emotions of the story (tone, mood, atmosphere), and how are they conveyed?

5. Discuss Esperanza. What kind of person is she? What desires does she have, and why? How is her character revealed over the course of the story, both by the things she says about herself and by the things she says about other people and things?

6. Discuss the use of symbolism in the novel. What major symbols do you notice in the story, and what do they represent? What themes are they connected with?

7. In what ways do social categories like class, race, ethnicity, age, and gender figure into the novel?

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Questions © 2008 C. Brantley Collins, Jr.