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The House On Mango Street

Esperanza in All of Us:  Embarrassing Stories

Compiled by Jennifer Hollowniczky

We all experience many challenges and go through a number of different changes, but through it all we see a little of Esperanza in all of us.   There are times when we might have felt used by our friends, called mean names, or wanted something we couldn't have.  We also face challenges of being a better person, accepting who we are, and depending on ourselves.  Esperanza experienced all of these feelings just as we have.  We can not deny that at some point in our life we felt the same as her.

In The House On Mango Street, Esperanza feels discriminated and embarrassed by her surroundings.  To show how there is a connection between Esperanza, I have collected some student's articles that showed a time when they felt embarrassed or discriminated against.  We can see how each person is connected to Esperanza in there own way and situation.  We can also learn that even though we may be different on the outside, when we get down to the heart of it, we are all the same.

Not All Teens Who Carry Backpacks are Bad

by Lauren MacMillan

Last summer Lauren traveled to Europe with her aunt, uncle, and cousin. Being a tourist, she found it pertinent to carry a backpack around. Gum, bottled water, a camera, and other necessary things were thrown in. Today they planned on walking around Munich, Germany, just getting the feel of the area.

They rode the subway to the Marienplatz where they viewed the famous Glockenspiel and beautiful fountains. All around the brick walkways, they found spectacular stores. Famous department stores lined the path.

After window shopping for a while, Lauren and her aunt decided to explore the inside of one of the department stores that stood out from the rest. Upon entering the store, Lauren noticed that an unusual noise was being made as she walked through the metal detectors. She found this to be very bizarre, but because no one said anything, she didn’t question it.

As she traveled through the gigantic store, she saw extraordinary clothes and accessories she loved. However, she did not chose to purchase anything. Once her aunt had finished at the cashier, they strolled towards the doors. Just as she was passing through the security detectors, the store alarm went off and guards from every direction encircled her. Not knowing what to do, she put her arms up to show she had no intentions of running away. The girl knew what was coming next.

As she emptied the contents in her backpack, she felt the cold stares of sophisticated others, judging her as an unruly teen who shoplifts. For the first time, the young girl knew what discrimination felt like. She was a foreigner, out of place in this country, did not speak the same language, and shoplifted from stores.

The stalwart men in starched uniforms, which enhanced their authority, picked through the gum, bottled water, journal, book, and lastly the disposable camera. Lauren sat there shaking, disturbed by what had happened, and extremely confused. When the men passed the camera through the detectors, the alarm sounded and the mystery had been solved. The store back in the states where she had bought the camera had forgotten to remove the strip that caused the security reaction. The security guards agreed and tried to comfort the girl. She left feeling embarrassed and violated. Lauren would never do anything like shoplift and learned something new...that often many people judge a book by its cover.



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Last updated:  Sunday, March 18, 2001

1998 - Hill, Lara and her English 1 Honors Class