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Chapter 4 - My Name Notes from The House on Mango Street

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The House on Mango Street Chapter 4 - My Name

Esperanza ponders the meaning and pronunciation of her name, which means "hope" in its English translation from Spanish. She is named after her great-grandmother, who was also born during the Chinese Year of the Horse. Although she never met her, she would have loved to get to know the wild woman who was her namesake, who never wanted to marry or be tamed, until her grandfather carried her off as his object.

"And the story goes she never forgave him. She looked out the window her whole life, the way so many women sit their sadness on an elbow. I wonder if she made the best with what she got or was she sorry because she couldn't be all the things she wanted to be. Esperanza. I have inherited her name, but I don't want to inherit her place by the window." Chapter 4, pg. 11

Topic Tracking: Family 3

Esperanza does not like the way people pronounce her beautiful Spanish name at school and likes to keep it whole - without a nickname - like her sister Magdalena (Nenny). She secretly wants to baptize herself under a new name more suited to her private personality, for she does not like the mumbled English sounding name of Esperanza.

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