The House on Mango Street


Sandra Cisneros

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The House on Mango Street: Chapter 40 Summary & Analysis

Sally gets married before the eighth grade, to an older marshmallow salesman who has to take her to another state where their marriage is legal. She says she is in love, and she tells Esperanza about her house and the domestic objects she owns now, but Esperanza thinks she just got married to escape. Sally claims to be happy, and her husband sometimes gives her money, but he also gets angry and one time he kicked a hole through the door. He also won’t let Sally go out on her own, or talk on the phone, or have her friends visit (except when he’s at work), or even look out the window. Sally sits at home all day, looking around at the pretty things she owns.
Sally does manage to escape her father, but she finds a man who is just as oppressive. Looking out the window is the last hope and pleasure of many of the trapped women of Mango Street, but Sally’s husband denies her even that. In one sense she is protected now, just as Sally’s father and forced “protection” on her, but she has also given up every aspect of her freedom. She has a nice house like Esperanza dreams of, but it is not “a house of her own” – it is more like a cage.
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