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KEY LITERARY ELEMENTS
The setting of the story is a poor Hispanic neighborhood in Chicago. Judging from the cars people drive, it is probably the 1960ís. The neighborhood is very close-knit, full of immigrants who do not speak English well and rarely leave the neighborhood.
LIST OF CHARACTERS
Esperanza is the young (about twelve years old) Mexican- American girl around whom the story revolves. She has just moved to Mango Street, and the entire book is about her reactions to the people and things around her, and the way those shape her as she matures over a period of one year.
Esperanzaís younger sister. Esperanza cares for Nenny, though she also finds her annoying because of her dreamy, childish attitude. They often play together, and are, in some ways, closer to each other than to any other character.
Lucy and Rachel
Sisters who always appear together, they are mischievous and brash, and donít care much what other people think of them, which is why Esperanza likes them. Together, the girls have many adventures.
An intelligent and caring homemaker, Esperanzaís mother is disappointed in herself for not continuing with her education, because she feels she could have made more of her life. She tries to make sure her daughter does not make the same mistake.
Esperanza greatly admires her friend Sally, who is beautiful and knows how to control boys, and seems too exotic for Mango Street. But gradually, Esperanza realizes that Sally is not as independent as she pretends to be.