The House on Mango Street

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The House on Mango Street Chapter 32 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Sally is a beautiful girl at Esperanza’s school who wears “Egyptian” makeup, nylons, and short skirts. Esperanza wants to learn to wear makeup and to wear black suede shoes like Sally. Sally leans against the fence at school and tries to ignore the rumors boys tell about her. She had a best friend named Cheryl, but they got into a violent fight and now Sally leans on the fence alone. Esperanza wishes she could be Sally’s new best friend.
Sally becomes an important figure for Esperanza, as she represents a kind of sexual maturity that Esperanza finds intriguing. Sally appears to have retained her autonomy while still being desirable to boys, and Esperanza wants to befriend Sally and learn her ways. Shoes again represent sexuality, as Esperanza envies Sally’s black suede shoes.
Themes
Gender and Sexuality Theme Icon
Identity and Autonomy Theme Icon
Dreams and Beauty Theme Icon
Sally seems to diminish every day as she walks sadly home to her father. He tries to keep her trapped in the house because he is very religious and thinks her beauty means trouble. Esperanza thinks Sally is a beautiful dreamer who just wants to love and be loved, and she wishes Sally could go somewhere far away, somewhere she wouldn’t have to worry about her father and cruel gossip.
Sally does not seem trapped by her sexuality, but by her abusive father. Esperanza romanticizes Sally, and it is clear that she is beginning to choose Sally’s path, at least temporarily. Rachel and Lucy will rarely appear in the story anymore, as Esperanza tries to become Sally’s best friend.
Themes
Language and Names Theme Icon
Gender and Sexuality Theme Icon
Identity and Autonomy Theme Icon
Dreams and Beauty Theme Icon