The House on Mango Street: Novel Summary: Marin

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Marin

Summary
Although Marin has dreams of staying in America-she is saving her money from selling Avon products to care for her cousins, and has plans to get a "nice" downtown job at which she will meet a future husband-Esperanza knows that Louie's parents plan to send Marin back to Puerto Rico. Until then, Marin spends her evenings at the window, hoping the boys will see her. They do, and they call out to her, and Marin "is not afraid."
 
Analysis
Esperanza will miss Marin because Marin has initiated her into some secret knowledge, such as "how Davey the Baby's sister got pregnant." Marin is one of Esperanza's mentor figures. In her own small way, she helps Esperanza on her journey toward adolescence, adulthood, and self-actualization. This glimpse of Marin, therefore, also develops the theme of the developing sexual identity of adolescents, and the dangerous feelings-not to mention dangerous actualities-that this newfound sexuality brings with it: not for nothing does Esperanza comment on Marin's fearless staring at the boys who make suggestive comments to her. Marin seems to invite this attention-choosing to sit at the window, smoking cigarettes, wearing a short skirt-and, when she receives it, she does not turn away from it, or, in fact, react to it much at all. But Esperanza knows that, like herself, Marin is "waiting." Marin is waiting, however, for "someone to change her life," whereas Esperanza seems to be struggling toward a way to change her life for herself.

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