The House on Mango Street: Novel Summary: Sally

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Summary
Sally is a beautiful girl at school, but her father says "to be this beautiful is trouble." Even so, Esperanza admires Sally's attractiveness. She knows that the stories boys tell about her must not be true. She wonders why Sally spends so much time alone at school, and why Sally alters her appearance before going home-for example, removing her eye shadow. She wonders if Sally wishes she did not have to go home, if she wishes that her feet "would one day keep walking and take [her] far away from Mango Street, far away and maybe your feet would stop in front of a house, a nice one." In this house, Esperanza imagines, Sally could lean against somebody "without someone thinking [she is] bad," because all Sally wants is "to love and to love and to love and to love, and no one could call that crazy."
 
Analysis
Clearly, Esperanza identifies with Sally-or, perhaps more accurately, she projects much of her own hopes (see "My Name") and aspirations (see "The House on Mango Street") onto Sally. Sally, in effect, becomes a projection of Esperanza. Readers do not know-at this point-what the reality of Sally's life and inner world are like. As she did with "Geraldo No Last Name," Esperanza is creating a narrative for Sally. This narrative, however, a story of yearning for something better that is fulfilled, does not reflect reality; as we will see in the later vignette "What Sally Said," it crashes against reality's harshness. Readers could ponder what effect such shattered narratives may have on those who construct them, and whether such storytelling is ultimately of value. The book as a whole stresses the power of narrative and storytelling, with both positive and negative results (see "Red Clowns").

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