By SANDRA CISNEROS
Std. IX English
Born December 20, 1954 (age 57)
Occupation Novelist, poet, short story writer
Ethnicity Mexican American
The House on Mango Street,Woman Hollering
Creek and Other Stories
American Book Award, Clay McDaniel
SPOT LIGHT ON
• Sandra Cisneros (born December 20, 1954) is an
American writer best known for her acclaimed first
novel The House on Mango Tree (1984). She is the
recipient of numerous awards including a National
Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. Cisneros has
held a variety of professional positions, working as a
teacher, a counselor, a college recruiter, a poet-in-the-
schools, and an arts administrator, and has
maintained a strong commitment to community and
literary causes. In 1998 she established the
• Cisneros currently resides in San
• The Story is about a young girl, growing
as the only daughter of six other brothers.
When growing up, the father includes her
as one of his “Siete Niños,” (Seven Boys).
She grows up near with her six brothers,
and learns a lot about each other. She
wants her father to understand that she is
important also, but the father diverts his
attention to her brothers. Then when she
is in the 5th grade, she shares her dreams
to go to college, and do something with
her life. Her brothers all laugh at her. Her
father says while in college, she will
find a husband there. …
• The father’s judgment and the common stereotype states
that Her destiny is to become a good “House Wife.” But
after four years of college and some time at the
undergraduate school, she still hasn't got a husband let
alone a boyfriend. Her father says that she has wasted
her education. She later says that she always was
writing for her father, and writing for mainstream culture.
• Ten years went by, and now she is now a professional
writer creating works of art. Her father has developed an
unwell sickness. She gives her father some of her own
story to read in Spanish (Father’s native language), and
he likes it a lot. At the end of reading, the father becomes
very proud of her daughter.
Elements of the Story
• Plot & Setting: Takes place
Chicago, Illinois in the mid to the
late 20th century, in a household
of nine including six brothers and
• Crisis & Conflict: The girl trying to
help her father believe that she is
not a statistic of some common
belief, or some stereotypical
theory by becoming a renounced
and professional author and writer
Types of conflict:
• External Conflict (Self vs.
Man) and Internal Conflict
(Self and Society).
• In this case, the external
conflict is between the
Daughter and the Father,
and the internal conflict is
between the Protagonist
(Daughter) and the societal
stereotype of a woman.
• Resolution: At the end of the short story, the
Daughter proves to her father that she didn’t
waste her education and used it for a good
purpose. Her father is indeed proud of her.
• Point of view: The narrator is telling the story in
First person, using the words “I, me, my.”
• The narrator also describes and tells the story
like she was the story.
• The Protagonist (Daughter) is a very intelligent,
independent, sophisticated, and very liberal young girl
who wants to deserve her father’s respect and honor.
• As being the only Daughter, she is the minority, and
the irrelevant one in her siblings.
• The way people judge her and her personality in the
beginning of the story tends to represent the
stereotypical idea of women in general.
• She is a living example to those who beat the
stereotype of the common “House Wife” and of those
who challenged society’s thought
Even if you feel
unappreciated by society and
even disregarded and
rejected because you are the
minority of the crowd, at the
end, your true colors will shine
and people will respect you
for the person you truly are…
Read to understand
• In a Mexican family, the sons are more useful
than the daughters. They can get a job and
provide for the family but the daughters are
expected to stay home and cook and clean.
• She was the only daughter, therefore she wasn't
allowed to play with her brothers because they
were too embarrassed to be seen playing with a
girl. Being the only daughter left her to be by
herself to think about things and start writing.
• Because she could think and create things in her
mind, she could write on paper to become a
writer. He father expected her to go to college
and find her husband.
• Because she was almost done with school and
she had not found a husband. He thinks that
college is for finding a husband not getting
education. It allowed her to get her things done
without her father bugging her about what she
• Atlast after her book he asks her where they
could get more copies to give to the rest of the
COMPREHENSION - 1
As the only daughter in a family with six
sons, Sandra Cisneros felt
• very special and privileged.
• lonely and of less importance than her
• she had to be an English teacher.
• she could never have friends over to her
Cisneros' father wanted his children to
• become rich and famous.
• avoid jobs that required physical labor.
• avoid going to college.
• become writers.
For Cisneros' father, being an only
daughter meant that Sandra's destiny
was to become
• an English teacher.
• a wife.
• an engineer.
• a nun.
Sandra Cisneros' father finally read one
of her stories when
• her mother insisted that he do so.
• Sandra got a high-paying publishing job.
• Sandra came home for Christmas with a
• he got tired of watching television.
What did Sandra’s father say to indicate
his pride in her work?
• He apologized for not acknowledging her
• He wanted copies for all the relatives.
• He asked her to autograph her story for
• He offered to finance her next book.
• 1) What upsets Cisneros about the
relationship between her and her father?
What kind of relationship, or reaction, does
she want from her father?
• 2) In paragraph 3, how does Cisneros’s
distinction between “only daughter” and
“only a daughter” reveal much of what
• 3) What particular experience creates a
significant improvement in this relationship? Why
do you think this experience is so important not
only to Cisneros but also to her father?
• 4) What does the author mean when she says in
paragraph 5 that “I’m lucky my father believed
daughters were meant for husbands. It meant it
didn’t matter if I majored in something silly like
• 5) Do you think parents should make different
plans and have different expectations for sons
and daughters? Why or why not?
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