The House on Mango Street

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Marin Character Analysis

An older Puerto Rican girl who lives with her cousins on Mango Street. Marin sells Avon makeup and spends most of her days baby-sitting, and so cannot leave the house. She dreams of both marrying her boyfriend in Puerto Rico and being swept away by a rich man in Chicago.

Marin Quotes in The House on Mango Street

The The House on Mango Street quotes below are all either spoken by Marin or refer to Marin. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Language and Names Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Vintage Books edition of The House on Mango Street published in 2009.
Chapter 11 Quotes

And since Marin’s skirts are shorter and since her eyes are pretty, and since Marin is already older than us in many ways, the boys who do pass by say stupid things like I am in love with those two green apples you call eyes… And Marin just looks at them without blinking and is not afraid.

Marin, under the streetlight, dancing by herself, is singing the same song somewhere. I know. Is waiting for a car to stop, a star to fall, someone to change her life.

Related Characters: Esperanza Cordero (speaker), Marin
Page Number: 27
Explanation and Analysis:

Esperanza spends much of her time observing the other people who live on Mango Street and either replicating or resenting their behavior. But it's hard to tell how she feels about Marin, other than mystified by her sexuality and the way boys seem to gravitate toward her. Esperanza's feelings are obviously complex, and she might simultaneously desire what Marin has and feel disturbed by the way boys and men approach her to flirt. This complexity Esperanza reconciles by deciding the boys are saying "stupid things," as if trying to convince herself that she shouldn't want this to happen to her some day. 

The second paragraph of this passage changes tone abruptly, as Esperanza reflects at the time of her writing on what Marin might be doing now. Because Marin is a fictional character described to us by another fictional character, and has no reality apart from her existence in Esperanza's story, this is also the only way the reader is able to imagine her. As a writer, Esperanza (like Cisneros) has the power to decide how her characters end up. And Marin, like so many women of Mango Street, is stuck forever waiting for something to happen, for someone to "change her life." 


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Marin Character Timeline in The House on Mango Street

The timeline below shows where the character Marin appears in The House on Mango Street. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 10: Louie, His Cousin & His Other Cousin
Gender and Sexuality Theme Icon
Foreigness and Society Theme Icon
...the Puerto Rican family, and he becomes friends with one of Esperanza’s brothers. Louie’s cousin Marin also lives with them in the basement. She is older than Esperanza and wears dark... (full context)
Chapter 11: Marin
Gender and Sexuality Theme Icon
Foreigness and Society Theme Icon
Dreams and Beauty Theme Icon
Marin (Louie’s cousin) has a boyfriend back in Puerto Rico whom she secretly wants to marry... (full context)
Gender and Sexuality Theme Icon
Identity and Autonomy Theme Icon
Esperanza likes Marin, who has lots of useful knowledge – like how girls get pregnant, how to remove... (full context)
Identity and Autonomy Theme Icon
Dreams and Beauty Theme Icon
As the chapter ends Esperanza imagines Marin somewhere else in the future. She is dancing beneath a streetlight, waiting for “a star... (full context)
Chapter 25: Geraldo No Last Name
Language and Names Theme Icon
Foreigness and Society Theme Icon
The chapter is mostly Marin answering questions from the police. At a dance that night she had met a young... (full context)