House on Mango Street

How does Esperanza feel about her mother?

How does Esperanza feel about her mother


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Esperanza's mother, is a selfless caretaker, as evidenced by the comfort Esperanza seeks by her side and the way she will try to facilitate her children's whims, such as the new dress she buys Esperanza for a baptism and the way she indulges her daughter's wishes to not remain at school for lunch. Mama is beautiful and feminine, but we also learn that she is smart and regrets not making more of herself. Esperanza learns one of the most important lessons of the novel from Mama- to not let pride and fear of competition inhibit you from striving for success: "I could've been somebody, you know? Esperanza, you go to school. Study hard.... Shame is a bad thing, you know. It keeps you down. You want to know why I quit school? Because I didn't have nice clothes. No clothes, but I had brains." It is evident that Esperanza respects her mother's opinion, for she also ponders her mother's advice about developing sexuality, attending to her warning that girls like Lois who can't tie her shoes "are the ones that go into alleys" (73) and that "to wear black so young is dangerous" (82). She reveres her mother as both an ideal, accepts her advice and acts upon it.