In The House on Mango Street, Esperanza says, “I knew then I had to have a house…One I could point to. But this isn’t it…For the time being, Mama says…But I know how these things go” (Cisneros 5). Esperanza (“Hope”) knows the tension between dreams and circumstances; the Harriet Tubman conversation allows students to explore it. Students would consider details and stories from Esperanza’s life and community that implicate whether her dream is good or spells disappointment. Students would answer the essential question, “Is dreaming good for us?”, using both the quote and the text, either through Esperanza’s eyes or their own.
Level: Secondary English/language arts
Subject Area: American multicultural literature
Author: Karina Isley