Please read the preface to The House on Mango Street, which is also written by the author, Sandra Cisneros. On Thursday, we discussed the nature of home and community. She titles the preface, “A House of My Own,” continuing this theme.
Take notes on the preface, paying special attention to the personality of the author. Who is she? What are her values? What are her thoughts on home?
I mentioned how taking notes for English class is a bit different from taking notes for science, for example. Instead of noting tiny little details, focus on who the author is and how he or she writes. Below is the first paragraph from the preface, and then some notes that I might take on it.
The young woman in this photograph is me when I was writing House on Mango Street. She’s in her office, a room that had probably been a child’s bedroom when families lived in this apartment. It has no door and is only slightly wider than the walk-in pantry. But it has great light and sits above the hallway door downstairs, so she can hear her neighbors come and go. She’s posed as if she’s just looked up from her work for a moment, but in real life she never writes in this office. She writes in the kitchen, the only room with a heater. (xi)
-she thinks of herself in the past as a different person, referring to herself in the third person
-she is aware of histories of houses, referring to families that may have lived there
-she is aware of others that share her home, that are part of her community, referring to her neighbors
-her home is modest, as the kitchen is the only room in the house with heat