House on Mango Street

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In the House On Mango Street, Esperanza Cordero is such an inspiring character seeing as she shows the ways in which change can alter your life. Because the story is told by her, the most developed character, the reader experiences her growth along with her, which is why there is such a contrast between who she was and who she is becoming. Throughout the course of the novel, Esperanza begins to develop from the shy, naïve child she was into a mature, decisive, well-rounded young lady.

Impressions can be made about Esperanza’s character by the first chapter because her actions so obviously show that she is an immature young girl, with a low self-esteem, searching to find herself. Esperanza’s ideas were often innocent and childish as she believed that “Earl is married and has a wife somewhere… mama says she is a skinny thing, blonde and pale… I saw her once and she is not that way at all. And the boys across the street says she is a tall red-headed lady… we never agree on what she looks like…” Esperanza still has the mind of a child and does not realize that they are talking about several different women. The thought of an old man with many girlfriends never occurred to her because she was raised to believe that when you grow old you get married. By this she proves how unaware of the real world she is and she shows the reader her closed minded side. A side that thinks in black and white only, where your either rich or poor, smart or stupid, pretty or ugly. Interestingly, while Esperanza believes in the good in everyone else, like Earl, she does not believe in herself. Esperanza constantly puts herself down, like when she states, “I am an ugly daughter. I am the one nobody comes for.” She feels different from everybody else; she thinks her hair is weird, her name is difficult, she is not pretty. She lets the feelings she has for the street she hates intertwine with her feelings she has about herself and because she is ashamed of who she is and where she comes from...
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