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Analysis

Tough-O-Meter

We've got your back. With the Tough-O-Meter, you'll know whether to bring extra layers or Swiss army knives as you summit the literary mountain. (10 = Toughest)

(2) Sea Level

One of the reasons this book is so fantastic is that Cisneros manages to write in a way that is both accessible and beautiful. If The House on Mango Street were a hiking trail, it would be a walk in the park – a really gorgeous and interesting park, full of pretty flowers and cute, fuzzy animals, and maybe some kids jumping rope and sweet old ladies feeding the pigeons on a park bench.

The House on Mango Street is intentionally easy to understand, because accessibility is part of Cisneros's project. She writes in her introduction that stories create a kind of "beauty that is there to be admired by anyone, like a herd of clouds grazing overhead" (Introduction.20). In fact, she says, the book is so accessible that you should be able to open it to any page and be able to make sense of the story you find there, without knowing what came before or what comes next.

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