The House on Mango Street


Sandra Cisneros

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The House on Mango Street: Chapter 12 Summary & Analysis

Esperanza describes the people who come into her neighborhood and are afraid. They think everyone there is dangerous, and will stab them with knives. Esperanza and the other children of Mango Street aren’t afraid, because they know the people who look so dangerous to outsiders, like Davey’s crooked-eyed brother, and the tall man with the hat, and the mentally disabled Eddie V. However, Esperanza does admit that when she goes to a neighborhood “of another color” she gets scared too.
This is Esperanza’s most direct description of the racial prejudice she faces every day. Yet she acknowledges that she also would feel afraid in a neighborhood foreign from her own. Her narration here implies that such fear depends on a lack of knowledge of the neighborhood and its residents, who likely aren’t actually as dangerous as they may appear to those who don’t know them.
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