From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
The House on Mango Street

The House on Mango Street


by Sandra Cisneros

Mama and Papa

Character Analysis

It's clear from her description of her parents that Esperanza feels a lot of affection for them – Esperanza's Mama and Papa are the forces that make the house on Mango Street a home, even when Esperanza feels ashamed. They dream of winning the lottery and being able to buy a beautiful white house for their family. But, in the meantime, Papa works in the gardens of wealthy homes in the city, and Mama cooks and cares for the children. Esperanza's Mama gave up her studies because she says she was ashamed of not having nice clothes. She encourages her daughter not to let shame stop her from achieving her goals, to stay in school and study hard.