House on Mango Street 49-69

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Novel Questions: The House on Mango Street - Pages 49-69

In the “Hips” chapter concerning the girls’ images of themselves, I learned that Esperanza sees her hips as a sort of gateway and advantage, though she doesn’t know exactly for what yet, as well as they give her a sense of authority to some degree. “They are… ready and waiting like a new Buick with the keys in the ignition. Ready to take you where?” (pg 49) “… That’s right, I add before Lucy or Rachel can make fun of her. She is stupid alright, but she is my sister… it’s obvious I’m the only one who can speak with any authority…” (pg 50) Rachel and Lucy have already succumbed to a certain cultural view of women as eye candy and baby boomers. “[Hips]… are good for holding a baby when you’re cooking Rachel says… You need them to dance, says Lucy.” (pg 49) Nenny is different from Esperanza, Lucy, and Rachel in the sense that she is slightly less pack-minded, and is instead more individualistic. “Nenny… doesn’t hear me. She is too many light-years away. She is in a world we don’t belong to anymore.” (pg 52) Even if her reasoning is off sometimes, she has her own sense of logic, maybe because she isn’t depending on the other three girls. Esperanza, speaking to the girls, says, “You gotta know how to walk with hips, practice you know - like if half of you wanted to go one way and the other half the other. [Nenny says] that’s to lullaby it… that’s to rock the baby asleep inside you.”

Esperanza is uncertain about sitting down at work because she got tired, and had no one to personally ask if she could sit, and could only observe. “… I started sitting down only when the two ladies next to me did.” (pg 54) It’s different for her because, as found in the last question, she’s very pack-minded, and this situation required her to think on her own, which she’s not use to. The man on the night shift betrays her because “…he said we could be friends… I felt better. He had nice eyes and I didn’t feel so nervous...
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