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House On Mango

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Esperanza Cordero is a very troubled patient of mine. Her family lives at poverty level, because the father is a gardener and her mother is a housewife, and has moved around many times in these early years of Esperanza’s life. Esperanza is very ashamed of things, depressed, but yet she is a very intelligent and caring young girl. She has gone through many terrifying and disturbing experiences in her life. She has been raped, her aunt died, her father getting devastated over her grandfather’s death, and she has not yet formed any friendships with other kids. Her house is in the slums of the town.

The Cordero family consists of Rita (mom), Paco (father), Esperanza, Carlos, Kiki, and Nenny. The combined household income is at the poverty level with no hopes of that changing in the near future. They have moved from Paulina, to Keeler, to Loomis, and to Mango Street in the first six years of Esperanza’s life (3). The homes she has lived in were all run down apartments with very little amenities. Now her family lives in a run down house on Mango Street, but most likely the best place they have ever lived.

Esperanza had to get a job in order to go to a private Catholic high school. Catholics do not attend public high schools. Also Esperanza’s father said, “Nobody went to public school unless you wanted to turn out bad.” (53). Esperanza’s job was at a photo shop that her Aunt had once worked at. At the photo shop she matched the negatives with the photos. She also has not been able to keep friends because of her constant moving around.

Esperanza is very ashamed about many things such as her name, which means “too many letters” in Spanish and “hope” in English. People make fun of her name, and she thinks it sounds like something from a Mexican song that her father plays while he shaves (10). She is ashamed about her house because it is so run down and has a poor appearance, but it looks like all the other houses in the vicinity. People who come to her neighborhood want to leave because it frightens them by being so run down and dirty (28). The final thing she is ashamed of is not having money to pay for school and her having to get a job to go to high school.
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