The House on Mango Street: Novel Summary: Chanclas

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Summary
Esperanza and her family attend her cousin's baptism party in the basement of the Precious Blood Church. Another cousin of Esperanza's asks her to dance, but she does not because she is too self-conscious of her feet. "Uncle Nacho," however, takes Esperanza onto the dance floor. Reluctantly at first, then with more enjoyment, Esperanza dances, noticing that the boy who asked her to dance is watching her. She enjoys that, too.
 
Analysis
Unlike "A Rice Sandwich," this vignette presents a successful moment in Esperanza's journey toward adolescence and adulthood. Feet again serve as the dominant symbol. Although Esperanza does not like the way her shoes make her feet look-"the old saddle shoes I wear to school, brown and white, the kind I get every September. My feet scuffed and round, and the heels all crooked that look dumb with this dress"-she is enjoying dancing by the end of the vignette and forgets her feet and shoes. The moment is a small one, but it represents a successful movement toward growing up, as does Esperanza's notice of the boy who is noticing her! Esperanza feels beautiful. In some ways, the vignette echoes "The Family of Little Feet," but there is no hint of menace in this scene. This scene creates positive feelings toward Esperanza's maturation. (Incidentally, chanclas are a type of sandal.)

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