The House on Mango Street

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The House on Mango Street Chapter 9 Summary & Analysis

Meme Ortiz moves into Cathy’s house when her family leaves. Meme’s real name is Juan, and he has a sheepdog with both an English and a Spanish name. The house (which Cathy’s father built) is wooden and lopsided. In the back yard is a huge, “fat” tree. The children choose this tree for a “Tarzan Jumping Contest.” Meme wins, but breaks both of his arms in the process.
Meme and his dogs both emphasize the theme of names and show the bi-culturalism of the neighborhood. In this society that is divided between the Latino and the Anglo-American, it is even more difficult for a child to form her identity. The images of trees and falling (trying to fly and failing) are also recurring motifs.
Language and Names Theme Icon
Foreigness and Society Theme Icon
Identity and Autonomy Theme Icon