Esperanza, the main character of House on Mango Street is a dynamic character that undergoes much change from the first vignette to the last. She is the main figure in the coming of age story, and it’s essential that students understand who she is and how she changes through the course of the story.
Because of this, I created a character chart for Esperanza, comparing her from the beginning of the story (the first vignette) “Esperanza Then” to how she is at the end of the story, “Esperanza Now.”
The students’ task was to read the ending vignettes, particularly
- “Alicia and I Talking on Edna’s Steps” (106)
- “A House of My Own” (108)
- “Mango Says Goodbye Sometimes” (109)
and compare how Esperanza feels/acts at the end to how she felt in the beginning vignettes, when she was trying to figure out who she was and hated her new house on Mango Street.
This chart is simple, but it’s important for students to visually see the difference in Esperanza’s character. I shared this document with my eighth graders via Google Classroom and I had them fill it out in small groups first. Then we came together as a large group and they gave me suggestions to fill in the main chart.
This not only helps them to see the vignettes/story as a unified whole, but helps them connect to Esperanza, which will help them as they work towards their final project of writing their own vignettes.
*You can view/download the Esperanza Character Chart here.