What does Esperanza hope for Sally?

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What does Esperanza hope for Sally?

Esperanza hopes for Sally that she can live in a world that accepts, rather than judges, her.

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Esperanza wishes for Sally that she could leave Mango Street for a “nice” house with “flowers and big windows,” symbols of life and light. She hopes that beautiful Sally, with her long, flowing black hair, can find a place where she doesn’t have to worry about what people think of her. Specifically, on Mango Street, with its old-fashioned ideas about sexuality, Sally is suspected of being promiscuous. Esperanza hopes that one day Sally can live in a place where she can be out “leaning against” a car and “leaning against somebody” without the nosy neighbors watching and spreading the rumor that she is “bad.” To Esperanza, Sally is a girl without a defined sense of belonging who is driven by a desire to love and be loved in a healthy way—a desire that should be embraced.

This is both a dream and hope. Sally never gets to achieve what Esperanza hopes for her, instead becoming trapped early in an abusive marriage. Yet to the adult Esperanza, writing in the voice of a child, Sally has become the symbol of all the beautiful women caught in a society, represented by the worst of Mango Street, in which their open, loving sexuality is warped by being seen as dirty. What Esperanza hopes for Sally and those like her is a more accepting world that will allow them to flourish.

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