The House on Mango Street


Sandra Cisneros

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The House on Mango Street: Chapter 33 Summary & Analysis

Minerva is only slightly older than Esperanza, but she is already married and has two children. Her husband has left her, but sometimes he returns for a short while, only to break her heart again. At night after her children are asleep, Minerva writes poems on pieces of paper and then folds them up until they are tiny. She lets Esperanza read her poems, and Esperanza shares her own poems with Minerva. Minerva is sad all the time and her biggest problem is her husband. One time she kicks him out and he throws a rock through her window, but then he apologizes and Minerva takes him back. The next week she comes over covered in bruises and asks for Esperanza’s advice, but Esperanza has no help to offer.
Minerva is the trapped woman most similar to Esperanza, and so shows a dangerous possible example of Esperanza’s future. Minerva shares Esperanza’s poetic instincts, but she has become trapped by a man and her young children. Most of the tragic women look out the window and dream of better things, but Minerva’s husband throws a rock through her window, symbolizing that she has no means of escape, not even through poetry or dreaming. Esperanza at least realizes Minerva’s plight, and sees that she must work hard to avoid it.
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