House on Mango Street

Which woman seems to be helping herself the most? Explain.

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Alicia is Esperanza's older friend, who illustrates Esperanza's mother's advice about education in action. Afraid of her father, Alicia studies all night. Alicia values education enough to take two trains and a bus to the university "because she doesn't want to spend her / whole life in a factory or behind a rolling pin" (31-32). As my colleague Joan England points out, Alicia also shows Esperanza the reality of leaving the neighborhood. You will always be Esperanza. You will always be Mango Street. You can't erase what you know. You can't forget who you are" (105). However, Esperanza doesn't immediately understand.