Study Guide

The House on Mango Street Chapter 17

By Sandra Cisneros

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Chapter 17

The Family of Little Feet

  • The mother of the little foot family gives Lucy, Rachel, and Esperanza a paper bag with three pairs of high-heeled shoes.
  • The girls have fun playing dress up and trading the three pairs of shoes amongst themselves. Esperanza says it's "scary" to see her own long, girlish leg with a foot that no longer looks like her own (17.7).
  • Lucy has the idea to take their little-girl's socks off. The girls admire their long, skinny legs.
  • The three girls walk down to the corner, where they get some attention from the neighborhood men.
  • Mr. Benny, who owns the corner grocery, tells the girls to take off the shoes, because they're dangerous. The girls run away.
  • A boy on a bike confuses the girls by hollering at them.
  • A bum tells Rachel she's pretty and offers her a dollar if she will kiss him. Lucy grabs Rachel's hand and the girls run away.
  • The girls run up Mango Street the back way, and hide the shoes under a basket on the back porch. They're "tired of being beautiful" (17.29).
  • One Tuesday Lucy's mother throws the shoes away. The girls don't complain.

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