English 3-4 Honors Summer Reading

Hello! Welcome to Honors English 3-4/Pre-IB/AP.  Please read The House On Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros and complete the following assignments in preparation for your sophomore year. The assignments will be collected on the SECOND day of school, Friday, August 9th.  Further discussion and assessment of the novel, including a final project, will take place the first 2-3 weeks of school. Copies of the novel are available through the school’s bookstore and most bookstores. If using a school copy of the novel, post–it notes would be appropriate and if using a personal copy of the novel, highlighting and writing in the margins is recommended.  If you have ANY questions please feel free to email us at mlopez@pvlearners.net for Mrs. Lopez or dtrovillion@pvlearners.net for Miss Trovillion. We are looking forward to an exciting year as we explore cultural diverse literature, enhance our writing skills, and hone our critical thinking skills, and most importantly become better students in the subject of English.

Introduction

The House on Mango Street is a deceptive work. It is a book of short stories—and sometimes not even full stories, but character sketches and vignettes—that add up, as Sandra Cisneros has written, “to tell one big story, each story contributing to the whole—like beads in a necklace.” The language of the story may seem simple, but it possesses the richness of poetry. The House on Mango Street, which appeared in 1983, is a linked collection of forty-four short tales that evoke the circumstances and conditions of a Hispanic American ghetto in Chicago. The narrative is seen through the eyes of Esperanza Cordero, an adolescent girl coming of age. These concise and poetic tales also offer snapshots of the roles of women in this society. They uncover the dual forces that pull Esperanza to stay rooted in her cultural traditions on the one hand, and those that compel her to pursue a better way of life outside the barrio on the other. Throughout the book Sandra Cisneros explores themes of cultural tradition, gender roles, and coming of age in a binary society that struggles to hang onto its collective past while integrating itself into the American cultural landscape. Cisneros wrote the vignettes while struggling with her identity as an author at the University of Iowa's Writers Workshop in the 1970s. She was influenced by Russian-born novelist and poet Vladimir Nabokov's memoirs and by her own experiences as a child in the Chicago barrio.

By carefully completing this assignment over the summer, you will be prepared to discuss the story in the fall and complete the final project using your book and packet as the basis for your responses.

This assignment must be submitted the first Friday of the first week of school.

Please copy/paste this page into a Google document, and share with Ms. Lopez or Ms. Trovillion.

Section 1 (Mark the Text)

Instructions:

For the biography on Sandra Cisneros:  

Mark the Text

  1. Number the paragraphs
  2. Highlight key information about Sandra Cisneros

Biography of Author Sandra Cisneros

Born December 20, 1954 in Chicago, Sandra Cisneros is an American novelist, short-story writer, essayist, and poet. Cisneros is one of the first Hispanic-American writers who has achieved commercial success. She is lauded by literary scholars and critics for works which help bring the perspective of Chicana (Mexican-American) women into the mainstream of literary feminism. Cisneros received her B.A. from Loyola University in 1976 and her M.F.A from the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop in 1978. This workshop marks an important turning point in her career as a writer.

Cisneros had periodically written poems and stories while growing up, but it was the frustrations she encountered at the Writer's Workshop that inspired Cisneros' realization that her experiences as a Latina woman were unique and outside the realm of dominant American culture. Thus, Cisneros decided to write about conflicts directly related to her upbringing, including divided cultural loyalties, feelings of alienation, and degradation associated with poverty. These specific cultural and social concerns, coupled with Cisneros' feelings of alienation as a Latina writer, came to life five years later in The House on Mango Street (1983).

In addition to writing, Cisneros has taught at the Latino Youth Alternative High School in Chicago and has been a college recruiter and counselor for minority students at Loyala University of Chicago. She served as literature director for the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center in San Antonio, Texas, and was an artist in residence at the Foundation Michael Karolyi in Vence, France. She has been a guest professor at California State University, University of California, Berkeley, University of California, Irvine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque. Cisneros is also a member of PEN and Mujeres por la Paz, a women's peace group which helps organize.

Cisneros was the only daughter among seven children, and her brothers attempts to make her assume a traditional female role is reflected in the feminist strains of her writing, glorifying heroines who dream of economic independence and celebrating the "wicked" sexuality of women. The family frequently moved between the United States and Mexico because of her father's homesickness for his native country and his devotion to his mother who lived there. Consequently, Cisneros often felt homeless and displaced. She began to read extensively, finding comfort in such works as Virginia Lee Burton's The Little House and Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Today, Cisneros' works give both solace and realistic lessons about feelings which, as a child, she felt were uniquely hers, namely cultural division, loneliness and shame.

A prime example of how Cisneros' writing speak to the experiences of the forgotten or invisible of American society is The House on Mango Street. In this work, widely celebrated by critics, teachers, adults and adolescents alike, Cisneros introduces the reader to Esperanza - a poor, Latina adolescent who longs for a room of her own and a house of which she can be proud. Although Cisneros is noted primarily for her fiction, her poetry has also garnered attention. In My Wicked, Wicked Ways (1987), Cisneros writes about her native Chicago, her travels in Europe, and, as reflected in the title, sexual guilt resulting from her strict Catholic upbringing. A collection of sixty poems, each of which resemble a short story, the work exemplifies one of Cisneros' acclaimed knack for combining and crossing the boundaries of genre.

Cisneros' other works include Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories (1991), and the poetry collections Bad Boys and Loose Woman (1994). She has also written a book for juveniles, Pelitos (1994). Cisneros has also contributed to numerous periodicals, including Imagine, Contact II, Glamour, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Village Voice and Revista Chicano-Riquena. These works, short in titles but great in fresh literary ideas and cultural resonance, have garnered Sandra Cisneros wide critical acclaim as well as popular success. By reaching deep into her Chicana-Mexican heritage and articulating sensations of displacement and longing, Sandra Cisneros has created a lasting tribute to those who must conquer similar battles as she, and has thereby left a lasting friend for all who have let their imaginations build a house all their own. 

Section 2 (Rewrite)

Instructions:

As a child, one of Sandra Cisneros’ favorite books was The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton. The following is an excerpt from this story:

Once upon a time

there was a Little House

way out in the country.

She was a pretty Little House

and she was strong and well built.

The man who built her so well said, “This Little House shall never be sold for gold or silver and she will live to see our great-great-grandchildren’s great-great-grandchildren living in her.”

The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston 1969

  1. Identify the traits you think Cisneros is looking for in a house.

______1.  permanent ______6. strong ______11. pretty

______2. feeble ______7. attractive ______12. brawny

______3. enduring ______8. loathsome ______13. stable

______4. rattletrap ______9. picturesque ______14. decrepit

______5. rural ______10. ancestral ______15. snug

  1.   Tell me a story about your home. Complete the pre-writing prompts below to write down your thoughts and ideas about your house.

Imagery: language that appeals to the five senses (taste, touch, sight, sound, smell)

Sights (describe your home):

Sounds (freeway, birds):

Smells (mom's cooking, plants):

Tastes (mom's cooking):

Textures (rug, doorknobs):

Interior Monologue: Briefly write some thoughts and feelings you have about your home.  Do you like it, why?  Do you want something more?  Why?

Locate a Scene: Think of a memory you have that captures the importance of your home.  This one time...

Prompt: Below, write a story about your home.  Your story should include the information you provided in the pre-writing chart above.  1)  A description of your home using (Imagery). 2)  Some thoughts you have about your home, and what it means to you (Interior Monologue).  3) A scene that shows a fond memory you have of your home and your family.

Section 3 (Pre-Reading)

Instructions:

Respond to the following questions in detailed, complete sentences before you begin the novella. Make sure to answer all the questions!

  • Where does our sense of identity come from?
  • How does environment shape our identity?
  • What identities are permanent, and which do we have the power to change?
  • What roles do neighborhood and community play in shaping who we become?
  • In what areas of your life are you most free to do what you like?  In what areas of your life do you have the least freedom? Consider the roles of gender, race, religion, education, class, age, and upbringing play in limiting an individual’s personal freedom.  
  • Describe a situation where you once felt really out of place or uncomfortable.  Why did you feel this way? What does the word “outcast” mean? What kinds of attributes make people into outcasts?  Why must society have outcasts?
  • What parts of your life would you most like to escape?  Can you escape these elements at some point in your life?  If so, how? If not, why not?
  • What inspires you most in life?  What do you see you future holding for you?  What obstacles might stand in your way? In what ways will you attempt to overcome them and achieve your future desires?

Section 4 (Setting)

Instructions:

Esperanza’s reactions to her physical environment often reveal aspects of her character. Choose three large or small elements of Esperanza’s physical environment (e.g., houses, neighborhoods, city, school, trees, concrete, windows) and trace them as they repeat throughout the novel. First, write the quotations (with their page numbers) that describe your selected elements. Then, write a short analysis that explores Esperanza’s reaction to the element.

Physical Element One:  

Concrete Detail and Page Number (ex. Cisneros 5)

1.

2.

3.

Please discuss Esperanza's overall reaction to the element:

Physical Element Two:  

Concrete Detail and Page Number (ex. Cisneros 5)

1.

2.

3.

Please discuss Esperanza's overall reaction to the element:

Physical Element Three:  

Concrete Detail and Page Number (ex. Cisneros 5)

1.

2.

3.

Please discuss Esperanza's overall reaction to the element:

Section 5 (Female Characters)

Instructions:

Please examine the similarities and differences between Esperanza and three other female characters in the book.  Aspects that a character shares with Esperanza (ways in which they are alike) should be written first; then list aspects that are unique to a character (ways in which the character is different from Esperanza).

Character #1 Name:

Aspects shared with Esperanza:

Aspects unique to this character:

Character #2 Name:

Aspects shared with Esperanza:

Aspects unique to this character:

Character #3 Name:

Aspects shared with Esperanza:

Aspects unique to this character:

Section 6 (Open Mind Diagram)

Directions:

Put yourself into Esperanza’s place at the end of page 89.  Fill in the open mind diagram below with objects, images, symbols and quotations from the story to provide a picture of what might be going through her mind.  Be sure that you follow each quote with the page number on which it appears. You must include at least 2 quotations in your open mind.

Assignment

Section 7 (Quotations)

Instructions:

Discuss the meaning of the following quotations.  Answer in COMPLETE sentences.

  1. "For the time being, mama says. Temporary, says Papa. But I know how those things go." (“The House on Mango Street”)
  2. "Until then I am a red balloon, a balloon tied to an anchor. (“Boys & Girls”)
  3. "I would like to baptize myself under a new name, a name more like the real me, the one nobody sees." (“My Name”)
  4. "In the meantime they'll just have to move a little farther north from Mango Street, a little farther away every time people like us keep moving in." (“Cathy Queen of Cats”)
  5. "Nenny says: Yes, that's Mexico all right. That's what I was thinking exactly." (“Laughter”)
  6. "And then I don't know why, but I have to turn around and pretend I don't care about the box so Nenny won't see how stupid I am." (“Gil's Furniture Bought and Sold”)
  7. "Marin, under the streetlight, dancing by herself, is singing the same song somewhere. I know. Is waiting for a car to stop, a star to fall, someone to change her life." (“Marin”)
  8. "All brown all around, we are safe. But watch us drive into a neighborhood of another color and our knees go shakity-shake and our car windows get rolled up tight and our eyes look straight." (“Those Who Don't”)
  9. "But after awhile you get tired of being worried about kids who aren't even yours. (“There Was an Old Woman She Had So Many Children She Didn't Know What to Do”)
  10. "You can never have too much sky." (“Darius & the Clouds”)
  11. "In the canteen, which was nothing special, lots of boys and girls watched while I cried and ate my sandwich, the bread already greasy and the rice cold." (“A Rice Sandwich”)
  12. "My uncle and me bow and he walks me back in my thick shoes to my mother who is proud to be my mother." (“Chanclas”)
  13. "One day you wake up and they are there. Ready and waiting like a new Buick with the keys in the ignition. Ready to take you where?" (“Hips”)
  14. "And I think if my own Papa died what I would do. I hold my Papa in my arms. I hold and hold and hold him." (“Papa Who Wakes Up Tired in the Dark”)
  15. "Most likely I will go to hell and most likely I deserve to be there." (“Born Bad”)
  16. "What about a house, I say, because that's what I came for. Ah, yes, a home in the heart. I see a home in the heart. Is that it? That's what I see, she says, then gets up because her kids are fighting." (“Elenita …”)
  17. "They never saw the kitchenettes. They never knew about the two-room flats and sleeping rooms he rented, the weekly money orders sent home, the currency exchange. How could they? (“Geraldo No Last Name”)
  18. "There were many things Ruthie could have been if she wanted to." (“Edna's Ruthie”)
  19. "When I am too sad and too skinny to keep keeping, when I am a tiny thing against so many bricks, then it is I look at trees. When there is nothing left to look at on this street. Four who grew despite concrete. Four who reach and do not forget to reach. Four whose only reason is to be and be. (“Four Skinny Trees”)
  20. "My father says when he came to this country he ate hamandeggs for three months. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Hamandeggs. That was the only word he knew. He doesn't eat hamandeggs anymore." (“No Speak English”)
  21. "And always there is someone offering sweeter drinks, someone promising to keep them on a silver string." (“Rafaela....”)
  22. "Sally, do you sometimes wish you didn't have to go home?" (“Sally”)
  23. "I don't know which way she'll go. There is nothing I can do." (“Minerva Writes Poems”)
  24. "Rats? they'll ask. Bums, I'll say, and I'll be happy." (“Bums in the Attic”)
  25. "I have begun my own quiet war. Simple. Sure. I am one who leaves the table like a man, without putting back the chair or picking up the plate." (“Beautiful & Cruel”)
  26. "Who was it that said I was getting too old to play the games? Who was it I didn't listen to? I only remember that when the others ran, I wanted to run too, up and down and through the monkey garden, fast as the boys, not like Sally who screamed if she got her stockings muddy. (“The Monkey Garden”)
  27. "Why did you leave me all alone? I waited my whole life. You're a liar. They all lied. All the books and magazines, everything that told it wrong." (“Red Clowns”)
  28. "When you leave, you must remember always to come back for the others. A circle, understand? 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. (“The Three Sisters”)
  29. "No, Alicia says. Like it or not you are Mango Street, and one day you'll come back, too." (“Alicia & I”)
  30. "They will not know I have gone away to come back. For the ones I left behind. For the ones who cannot out. (Mango Says Goodbye Sometimes)

Section 8 (Final Analysis)

Instructions:

The House on Mango Street addresses numerous social issues such as housing, education, the environment, prejudice, the treatment of women, poverty, and immigrant struggles. Select three (3) key social issues that are represented in the book, provide a brief explanation of how this issue is addressed in the story and two quotations with a page number that demonstrate the social issue in the book.

Social Issue #1:

How the issue is addressed:

Quotation 1)

Quotation 2)

Social Issue #2:

How the issue is addressed:

Quotation 1)

Quotation 2)

Social Issue #3:

How the issue is addressed:

Quotation 1)

Quotation 2)

Section 9 (Letter for Those Left Behind)

Instructions:

At the end of the novel Esperanza says, "One day I’ll pack my bags of books and paper. One day I will say goodbye to Mango…Friends and neighbors will say, What happened to that Esperanza…They will not know I have gone away to come back. For the ones I left behind" (110).

Pretend that you are Esperanza and write a letter to one of the characters on Mango Street that you "left behind." Discuss some of your memories of Mango Street, particularly the ones that had a significant impact on how you view yourself and your community. Describe what you are doing now, and how your life on Mango Street prepared you for it. You should also include how you plan to "come back" for the others and how you intend to help them. (250-500 words).  See a student sample below:

Dear Nenny,

How are you and everyone on Mango Street?  Me, well, you don't have to worry about me.  I'm doing fine. I know I have left many things behind, but I will be back. So it isn't like you've seen the last of me.  Watch out for me. I want to go back because I miss everyone and I want to let them know how smart, grown up and successful I am. I decided to go away for a little while because I think there are lots of new things I have to explore in life, and I feel the best way to explore things is to leave Mango Street.

"Life is a precious thing" Remember that quote especially since you're growing up.  I've been there, done that, and it is a real hard thing when you don't have an older sister. Since you do, I am telling you so that you won't mess up as badly as I did and doubt yourself. Now I have to forget about how it was so hard growing up and live the life that I've wanted. I am in college still trying to figure out what I want to be in life. I know I want to do something with writing.

Always keep in mind all the things we did together: the talks about boys, how you and I weren't born to look like sisters, and what you said about us all needing hips to dance.

When I come back you will see a new person. Someone you would never have thought I would become.

Keep in mind to always have faith in yourself. Also, know that you can talk to me about anything you want to know about:  boys, school, anything.

Sincerely,

Esperanza Cordero