House on Mango Street

The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

What is Esperanza's relationship with Nenny like?

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Nenny is Esperanza's little sister and companion. Esperanza also protects and nurtures Nenny: "She can't play with those Vargas kids or she'll turn out just like them." In turn, Nenny defends Esperanza when she fights with girls who call their mother names and when she sees a neighborhood house that "looks like Mexico and "Rachel and Lucy look at me like I'm crazy." Although Esperanza sometimes expresses frustration at having Nenny tag along ("you can't choose your sister) she admires her strength, independent character, and innocent lack of self-consciousness: "the hard little bone, that's my sister." In contrast to Esperanza, Nenny is still an oblivious child; the frustrations Esperanza feels trying to make her sister see the world as she does emphasizes the peculiar stage of woman-child that Esperanza has entered.