The House on Mango Street Chapters 53-78 Summary

"The First Job" describes how Esperanza's aunt helps her get a job at Peter Pan Photo Finishers where she works. The first day Esperanza matches photos to their negatives and doesn't know where to sit at lunch or break. She meets a man in the coat closet who seems nice and invites her to sit next to him in the future. Then he tells her it's his birthday and asks for a kiss, so when she leans in, he grabs her and kisses her hard on the mouth. In "Papa Who Wakes Up Tired in the Dark," Esperanza's father comes in early one day to tell her that her grandfather has died. Since she is the oldest child, she will tell the news to her siblings. Her father breaks down crying when he tells her, so she sits by him on her bed and holds onto him.

The chapter "Born Bad" is about Esperanza's Aunt Lupe. She had two children and then became sick. Her disease kept her in bed, surrounded by medicine bottles with strange smells; it caused her to go blind. Esperanza would reluctantly go and read books to her. Sometimes she would read her own poems, and Aunt Lupe would encourage her to keep writing. Esperanza's friends started playing a game where they impersonated people, and one day they started imitating Aunt Lupe. She died soon after, and they felt bad for having made fun of her. In "Elenita, Cards, Palm, Water," she goes to Elenita who reads people's fortunes for five dollars. She tells Esperanza about her future, and that she will have a home in the heart. This news disappoints Esperanza as she isn't sure what it means, and she really wants to own a house someday, but she believes Elenita who always knows what she's talking about.

"Geraldo No Last Name" describes how Marin met a boy named Geraldo at a dance one Saturday night, and they spent some time together, and then he ended up dead. The police questioned her, but Marin knew nothing about him after only spending a few hours with him. Since he does not speak English, Esperanza worries that he has family in another country that will always wonder what happened to him because they will never hear from him again. "Edna's Ruthie" is about another neighbor, a girl who claims to have a husband somewhere, yet she sleeps on her mother Edna's couch and hangs out with the girls on the block. They have fun with her and Esperanza recites poetry to her, but Ruthie replies with strange musings about the sky or the beauty of Esperanza's teeth. "The Earl of Tennessee" refers to a man named Earl who lives in the basement apartment of Edna's building. He keeps his windows covered and his door locked tight, so when it opens, the smell of old records blows out. People say he is married, but everyone has a different description of his wife whom he ushers in by the arm late at night and doesn't stay long.

In "Sire" Esperanza describes a boy named Sire who she saw looking at her, so she looked back. Then she saw him with his girlfriend and envied the way he tied her shoes or walked around the block with her. Esperanza dreamed about having a boy hold her and kiss her someday. Esperanza uses "Four Skinny Trees" as a metaphor for how she sometimes feels. These raggedy trees grow outside her window, and they fight to survive surrounded by concrete and buildings, and it gives her hope that she can keep fighting too. "No Speak English" describes a man across the street who worked hard to save enough money to bring his mother from another country to live with him. She carried a baby boy with her. Esperanza heard her from the third floor, which she never left, talking about how she wanted to go home. She refused to learn English, and she became upset when the baby boy began to speak it.

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