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


Character Analysis

Minerva is a girl not much older than Esperanza, but she's already married and has two kids. Minerva and Esperanza hang out and read each other's poetry. But Minerva always has a lot of drama going on – first her husband leaves, then he comes back. Then he leaves again. Etcetera. Esperanza says Minerva is always "sad like a house on fire," a phrase that we really like – it totally conveys the stress and drama of Minerva's domestic life (33.2). After a particularly tumultuous breakup and reunion with her husband, Minerva shows up at Esperanza's house covered in bruises, asking for advice. Esperanza feels powerless – we get the feeling she'd like to tell Minerva that she's the one who needs to get her act together and tell her loser husband to leave for good.