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The House on Mango Street | Chapter Summaries

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Timeline of Events

  • Many years ago

    Great-Grandmother Esperanza is confined to the house after marrying and loses her wild spirit.

    Chapter 4
  • Decades later

    Mama drops out of school because she is ashamed she doesn't have nice clothes like the other girls.

    Chapter 36
  • Years later

    The Cordero family lives in an apartment on Paulina Street.

    Chapter 1
  • A year later

    The Cordero family moves to an apartment on Keeler Street.

    Chapter 1
  • A year later

    The Cordero family moves to a dilapidated apartment on Loomis Street.

    Chapter 1
  • A year later

    The Cordero family buys the little red house on Mango Street.

    Chapter 1
  • Shortly after

    Cathy offers to be Esperanza's friend.

    Chapter 5
  • Days later

    Esperanza befriends Lucy and Rachel despite Cathy's immediate dislike of them.

    Chapter 6
  • Soon after

    Meme Ortiz's family moves into Cathy's old house.

    Chapter 9
  • Unspecified date

    Mrs. Little Feet gives Esperanza, Lucy, and Rachel a bag of her old high heels.

    Chapter 17
  • Some time later

    Esperanza forgets to be ashamed of her babyish saddle shoes and dances at her cousin's baptism.

    Chapter 19
  • Unspecified date

    On her first day at her new job, an old Asian man kisses Esperanza on the lips.

    Chapter 21
  • Unspecified date

    Esperanza gets a tarot card reading from Elenita, who tells her to find home in her heart.

    Chapter 24
  • Unspecified date

    Geraldo is killed in a hit-and-run car accident.

    Chapter 25
  • Unspecified date

    Esperanza becomes friends with beautiful and popular Sally.

    Chapter 37
  • A few weeks later

    Esperanza and Sally get into a fight in the monkey garden.

    Chapter 38
  • Soon after

    Esperanza is raped at the carnival.

    Chapter 39
  • Later

    Sally marries a marshmallow salesman.

    Chapter 40
  • Weeks later

    Lucy and Rachel's baby sister dies.

    Chapter 41
  • A day or so later

    Esperanza meets three old women at the wake; they read her palm and tell her to make a wish.

    Chapter 41

Chapter Summaries Chart

Chapter Summary
Introduction: A House of My Own The 2009 edition of The House on Mango Street, which is the 25th anniversary edition, includes an introduction from the ... Read More
Chapters 1–4 Esperanza Cordero and her family recently moved to a house on Mango Street. Before that, the family of six—Mama, Papa,... Read More
Chapters 5–8 One of Esperanza's new neighbors is Cathy, who says she is a distant relative of the queen of France and whose house i... Read More
Chapters 9–12 Meme Ortiz's family moves into Cathy's old house. There's a huge tree in the backyard "with fat arms and mighty famili... Read More
Chapters 13–16 Rosa Vargas is a single mom with a lot of poorly behaved children. The kids are always getting into dangerous situatio... Read More
Chapters 17–20 A woman with small feet gives Esperanza, Lucy, and Rachel a bag containing three pairs of her old high heels. One pair... Read More
Chapters 21–24 Esperanza's Aunt Lala works at Peter Pan Photo Finishers. She gets Esperanza a job there matching film negatives to th... Read More
Chapters 25–28 Marin went to a dance and met a boy named Geraldo. She doesn't know his last name, but the police want to interview he... Read More
Chapters 29–32 Esperanza feels a kinship between herself and the four trees the city planted in front of her house. "They are the onl... Read More
Chapters 33–36 Minerva is just a few years older than Esperanza, but she is already married with two kids. Her husband keeps leaving ... Read More
Chapters 37–40 Sally's father abuses her. She assures Esperanza he "never hits [her] hard"—he's just afraid she's going to turn out l... Read More
Chapters 41–44 Lucy and Rachel's baby sister dies. Esperanza goes to the wake, where she meets three old women—sisters—who "smelled l... Read More
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