The House on Mango Street

Shoes Symbol Icon
Shoes in The House on Mango Street symbolize Esperanza’s sexuality, and then her inner conflict between that sexuality and her desire for independence. The symbolism begins when a neighbor gives her, Nenny, Rachel, and Lucy some old high-heeled shoes. They try them on and find that their legs look longer and more womanly, and they walk around getting lewd comments from men. This frightens the girls, and they discard the shoes.

Shoes Quotes in The House on Mango Street

The The House on Mango Street quotes below all refer to the symbol of Shoes. 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 17 Quotes

They are dangerous, he says. You girls too young to be wearing shoes like that. Take them shoes off before I call the cops, but we just run.

Related Characters: Esperanza Cordero (speaker), Mr. Benny (speaker), Magdalena “Nenny” Cordero, Lucy, Rachel, Mr. Benny
Related Symbols: Shoes
Page Number: 41
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia d

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Unlock explanations and citation info for this and every other The House on Mango Street quote.

Plus so much more...

Get LitCharts A+
Already a LitCharts A+ member? Sign in!
Chapter 43 Quotes

Not a man’s house… A house all my own. With my porch and my pillow, my pretty purple petunias. My books and my stories. My two shoes waiting beside the bed… Only a house quiet as snow, a space for myself to go, clean as paper before the poem.

Related Characters: Esperanza Cordero (speaker)
Related Symbols: Shoes
Page Number: 108
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Get the entire The House on Mango Street LitChart as a printable PDF.
The house on mango street.pdf.medium

Shoes Symbol Timeline in The House on Mango Street

The timeline below shows where the symbol Shoes appears in The House on Mango Street. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 17: The Family of Little Feet
Language and Names Theme Icon
Gender and Sexuality Theme Icon
Dreams and Beauty Theme Icon
...when someone gives Esperanza, Nenny, Rachel, and Lucy a paper bag full of old high-heeled shoes. (full context)
Gender and Sexuality Theme Icon
The girls try on the shoes and are amazed at how long and womanly their legs suddenly seem. They strut about... (full context)
Chapter 19: Chanclas
Gender and Sexuality Theme Icon
Identity and Autonomy Theme Icon
...mother buys her new clothes for the event, but she forgets to get Esperanza new shoes to match. There is a party after the baptism, and her mother drinks and dances... (full context)
Chapter 28: Sire
Language and Names Theme Icon
Gender and Sexuality Theme Icon
Foreigness and Society Theme Icon
Identity and Autonomy Theme Icon
Dreams and Beauty Theme Icon
...with little pink toenails like “seashells,” but she doesn’t know how to tie her own shoes. Esperanza watches Sire and Lois walking together around the neighborhood, and Lois riding Sire’s bike,... (full context)
Chapter 32: Sally
Gender and Sexuality Theme Icon
Identity and Autonomy Theme Icon
Dreams and Beauty Theme Icon
...and short skirts. Esperanza wants to learn to wear makeup and to wear black suede shoes like Sally. Sally leans against the fence at school and tries to ignore the rumors... (full context)
Chapter 38: The Monkey Garden
Gender and Sexuality Theme Icon
Identity and Autonomy Theme Icon
Dreams and Beauty Theme Icon
...her heart to stop beating. When Esperanza finally gets up again her own feet and shoes look foreign to her, and the monkey garden seems foreign as well. (full context)
Chapter 43: A House of My Own
Language and Names Theme Icon
Gender and Sexuality Theme Icon
Identity and Autonomy Theme Icon
Dreams and Beauty Theme Icon
...Esperanza herself. It will have flowers, a porch, her books and stories inside, and her shoes by the bed. The house will be silent and safe, “clean as paper before the... (full context)
Chapter 44: Mango Says Goodbye Sometimes
Language and Names Theme Icon
Gender and Sexuality Theme Icon
Foreigness and Society Theme Icon
Identity and Autonomy Theme Icon
Dreams and Beauty Theme Icon
...likes to tell stories to herself. She makes stories about walking in her “sad brown shoes.” She says she is going to tell about a “girl who didn’t want to belong,”... (full context)