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The House on Mango Street Study Guide

Directions: Answer each question in full and complete sentences. One word answers will not receive credit.

The House on Mango Street

1. Describe the house on Mango Street

2. Who lived in the house on Mango Street?

3. Where did the family live before moving to Mango Street?

4. Who was the Landlord at the house on Mango Street ?

5. What were the problems with the house on Loomis Street?

6. Describe the house that the young girl dreamed of owning.

7. Describe the young girl’s attitude about the house on Mango Street.


1. How does the narrator describe Papa's hair?

2. How does the narrator's description of her mother's hair differ from the other descriptions she provides?

3. Who are the members of the narrator's family?

Boys & Girls

1. Why won't the narrator's brothers speak to her and Nenny outside of the house?

2. What is the relationship between the narrator and Nenny?

3. Why does the narrator want a best friend?

My Name

1. What are the definitions of the narrator's name?

2. Who is the narrator named after? How does the narrator describe her?

3. What is the narrator's name?

4. Why doesn't the narrator like her name?

Cathy Queen of Cats

1. Why is she called the Queen of Cats?

2. What happens next Tuesday?

3. “In the meantime they'll just have to move a little farther north from Mango Street, a little farther away every time people like us keep moving in.” What does this statement indicate to the reader?

Our Good Day

1. How does Esperanza make friends with Rachel and Lucy

2. What does Cathy say about the sisters?

3. Where are Rachel and Lucy from?

4. Who owns the bike?


1. How are Nenny and Esperanza different?

2. How are Nenny and Esperanza similar?

Gil's Furniture Bought & Sold

1. What type of store does Gil own?

2. What did the girl's discover in Gil's store that made Esperanza feel stupid?

Meme Ortiz

1. Who is Meme Ortiz?

2. What is special about the tree in Meme's backyard?

Louie, His Cousin & His Other Cousin

1. Why is the appearance of Louie's other cousin important?

2. What happens on the ride in the Cadillac?

3. Why do you think Louie’s cousin was arrested?


1. Who is Marin?

2. How does Esperanza and her friends feel about Marin?

3. Why does Marin return to Puerto Rico?

4. Why can't Marin come outside during the day?

Those Who Don't

1. Why does Esperanza claim that her neighborhood is frightening to some people?

2. What does Esperanza say about the people who are afraid of her neighborhood?

3. Why isn't Esperanza afraid of her neighborhood?

4. How does Esperanza feel when she visits other neighborhoods?

There Was an Old Woman She Had So Many Children She Didn't Know What to Do

1. Describe Rosa Vargas

2. Why are the Vargas children considered bad?

3. Do you think Esperanza blames Rosa Vargas for her children's behavior? Why or why not?

Alicia Who Sees Mice

1. What is Alicia's father's opinions about a woman's place?

2. How do you think Alicia's relationship is with her father? Why?

Darius & the Clouds

1. How does Esperanza describe Darius?

2. What is the wise thing that Darius says? Why does Esperanza think it's wise?

And Some More

1. What are the girls naming the clouds?

2. How do the girls treat each other?

The Family of Little Feet

1. Describe the family's feet. What's the difference in how they are all described?

2. How do the shoes transform the girls?

3. Why does Mr. Benny tell the girls that the shoes are dangerous?

4. How does the bum react to the girls? Why is this potentially dangerous?

5. Why aren't the girls upset that their shoes are thrown away?

A Rice Sandwich

1. What is the canteen?

2. How does Esperanza convince her mother to let her stay at school?

3. How does Esperanza get Sister Superior to give her what she wanted?


1. What did Esperanza's mom forget to buy?

2. How did this make Esperanza feel at the party?

3. While dancing, Esperanza forgot about something, what was it? Why did she forget?


1. What do Rachel and Lucy say hips are good for?

2. What does Esperanza say hips are good for?

3. Why do the girls talk about hips the way that they do?

The First Job

1. Why does Esperanza need a job?

2. Why does Esperanza eat lunch in the coatroom?

Papa Who Wakes Up Tired in the Dark

1. Why is Papa crying?

2. Why is it Esperanza's job to tell everyone what happened?

3. Why does Esperanza hold Papa?

Born Bad

1. According to her mother, why is Esperanza likely to go to hell?

2. What happened to Aunt Lupe?

3. What did the girls do to Aunt Lupe?

4. What did Esperanza share with Aunt Lupe? What was Aunt Lupe's reaction?

5. Do you think Esperanza should feel guilty? Why or why not?

Elenita, Cards, Palm, Water

1. Who is Elenita?

2. What was Elenita's palm reading message?

Geraldo No Last Name

1. Who was Geraldo?

2. What happened to Geraldo?

3. Why doesn't anyone know Geraldo?

4. How does Marin feel about Geraldo's death?

Edna's Ruthie

1. How is Ruthie different than the other adults Esperanza knows?

2. What does Esperanza think about Ruthie?

The Earl of Tennessee

1. Where does Earl live?

2. What do all of the children in the neighborhood disagree on regarding Earl? About what do they agree?


1. What does Esperanza do that she considers to be brave?

2. Why doesn't Esperanza's parents want her to speak to Sire?

3. What does Esperanza's Mama say about girls like Sire's girlfriend?

4. How do you think Esperanza feels about Sire?

Four Skinny Trees

1. How does Esperanza describe the trees?

2. What does Esperanza say is the reason for the trees existence?

No Speak English

1. Who is Mamacita?

2. Why does Esperanza think Mamacita won't leave her house?

3. What is home to Mamacita?

4. Why does Mamacita get so sad when her baby sings the Pepsi commercial?

Rafaela Who Drinks Coconut & Papaya Juice on Tuesdays

1. Why is Rafaela stuck inside?

2. What do you think the sweet drinks represent?


1. Why does Sally's father thinks it's trouble to be “this” beautiful?

2. Describe Sally.

3. How does Esperanza feel about Sally?

Minerva Writes Poem

1. Why does Minerva cry?

2. What is Minerva's big trouble?

Bums in the Attic

1. Why is Esperanza ashamed?

2. What will Esperanza do when she becomes a homeowner?

Beautiful & Cruel

1. Why does Esperanza think she is ugly?

2. What does Esperanza decide about growing up?

Smart Cookie

1. What does Esperanza's mother say about herself?

2. Do you think Esperanza's mother is happy with her life? Why or why not?

What Sally Said

1. What is happening to Sally at home?

2. Why does Sally go back to her father?

The Monkey Garden

1. How did Esperanza feel when Sally went into the garden with the boys?

2. What did Esperanza do?

Linoleum Roses

1. According to Esperanza, why did Sally get married so young? Do you agree with her? Why or why not?

2. Why isn't Sally happy?

3. What is Sally afraid of?

The Three Sisters

1. What happened to Lucy and Rachel's sister?

2. What do the three sisters tell Esperanza?

Alicia & I Talking on Edna's Steps

1. Why is Esperanza sad?

2. Why doesn't Esperanza like her house?

A House of My Own

1. How does Esperanza describe the home she wants?

Mango Says Goodbye Sometimes

1. What does Esperanza like to do?

2. Looking back, what does Esperanza remember the most?


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