Study Guide

The House on Mango Street Chapter 18

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Chapter 18

A Rice Sandwich

  • Esperanza is jealous of the kids who get to stay at school to eat lunch in the canteen. She tries to convince her mother to let her stay instead of coming home for lunch.
  • Nenny prefers to walk home for lunch with her best friend Gloria. Carlos and Kiki are patrol boys, and don't want to stay at school for lunch, either.
  • Esperanza's mother relents and writes a note giving her permission to stay at school for lunch.
  • The nun monitoring the canteen sends Esperanza to see the Sister Superior.
  • Sister Superior says she knows Esperanza doesn't live far away – in fact, she bets she can see Esperanza's house from the school. She drags her to the window and points to a raggedy-looking row of decrepit apartments.
  • Esperanza lies and says that she lives in one of those ugly apartments, and starts to cry.
  • Sister Superior feels sorry for Esperanza and lets her stay for the day.
  • In the canteen, the other boys and girls watch as Esperanza cries over her rice sandwich.

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