The House on Mango Street Chapters 79-110 Summary

The chapter "Rafaela Who Drinks Coconut & Papaya Juice on Tuesdays" describes a young neighbor whose husband locks her in their apartment when he goes out to play dominoes on Tuesday nights. Rafaela wishes she could dance in the bar where she hears the music wafting up to her window. She asks the children to buy her sweet drinks at the store as a treat, so she drops down a dollar, and they send up a bottle of juice on a paper bag pulley. Then "Sally" is about a neighbor girl who also feels trapped inside her house by her father who worries because she is too beautiful. People spread rumors about her, which are untrue, so she stands alone by the fence pretending she was invisible, dreaming about a life where she felt loved.


"Minerva Writes Poems" is about another neighbor who has two children, and her husband keeps leaving and coming back. Minerva struggles to feed her children and writes poems in her free time. It's hard to say if it's worse when her husband is there and beats her or worse when he's away. In "Bums in the Attic" Esperanza wishes she could live in a house on a hill, so she could be closer to the stars. She would let homeless men sleep in her attic, and she would be happy. Even though Esperanza knows she is the ugly daughter, in "Beautiful & Cruel" she thinks about how she will someday escape her parents' house. She knows she can't use her sexuality to attract a man, so instead she tries to act like a man.


"A Smart Cookie" is about Esperanza's mother who can speak two languages, sing opera, and fix televisions. She is disappointed that she has never gone to the ballet or done better things with her life. She quit school because she didn't have nice clothes, and she regrets it. "What Sally Said" returns to the pretty young girl at school who shows up bruised all the time because her dad beats her. She decides to stay with Esperanza's family, but her father comes over crying, so Sally goes back home. One day her dad sees her talking to a boy and beats her with a belt as though he forgot she was his daughter.


"The Monkey Garden" is a place where Esperanza and her children would play, games such as hide and go seek out in the woods where no one would find them. One day Sally was there talking to Tito and his friends, and they took away her keys. They said they would give them back if she would kiss each of them, so they took her behind an old blue pickup truck. Esperanza felt weird about what they were doing, so she ran and told Tito's mom. She said she couldn't do anything about it, so Esperanza returned with a brick and sticks, but when she got there, she was told to leave. She felt stupid and layed down under a tree hoping her heart would stop beating, but she didn't die. She just sat up dirty with a headache and never returned to the garden again.


In "Red Clowns" Esperanza waited at the carnival for Sally to come, but she didn't show up. Instead some old man grabbed Esperanza and said he loved her. He pressed his dirty fingernails against her, and she screamed wishing Sally would come rescue her. "Linoleum Roses" is also about Sally who ran off and married a salesman who took her to a place where marrying young was legal. She said she liked having a home and buying her own things, but he doesn't let people visit, and he doesn't let her look out the windows. "The Three Sisters" came when Lucy and Rachel's baby sister died. Esperanza saw them when she went to see the dead baby. They called Esperanza over and asked her name. They told her to make a wish then told her it would come true. They seemed to know what she had wished for because they reminded her to always come back to Mango Street. She had to remember where she came from and help those who could not leave as easily as she would. Esperanza never saw the three women again.


In "Alicia & I Talking on Edna's Steps" Esperanza doesn't want to admit she's lived on Mango street for a year. She still doesn't think of it as home. Alicia says that Esperanza will have to come back someday to fix it because who else will do it, the mayor? Esperanza laughs at the thought. "A House of My Own" is the one that Esperanza dreams of having, quiet and clean and all her own. In "Mango Says Goodbye Sometimes" Esperanza thinks about how someday she will leave this house that she never really liked but has somehow become her home. She writes about it, so she's not haunted thinking about it. She knows one day she will leave, but she also realizes she will someday return.




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