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My Name_House on Mango St_ - CONNECT

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					Name_________________________ Per ___


The House on Mango Street by Sandra
Cisneros
“My Name” excerpt from novel:
     "In English my name means hope. In Spanish it means too many letters. It
means sadness, it means waiting. It is like the number nine. A muddy color. It is
the Mexican records my father plays on Sunday mornings when he is shaving,
songs like sobbing.
     It was my great-grandmother’s name and now it is mine. She was a horse
woman too, born like me in the Chinese year of the horse-which is supposed to
be bad luck if you’re born female-but I think this is a Chinese lie because the
Chinese, like the Mexicans, don’t like their women strong.
     My great-grandmother. I would’ve liked to have known her, a wild horse of a
woman, so wild she wouldn’t marry. Until my great-grandfather threw a sack over
her head and carried her off. Just like that, as if she were a fancy chandelier.
That’s the way he did it.
     And the story goes she never forgave him. She looked out the window her
whole life, the way so many women sit their sadness on an elbow. I wonder if she
made the best with what she got or was she sorry because she couldn’t be all the
things she wanted to be. Esperanza. I have inherited her name, but I don’t want
to inherit her place by the window.
     At school they say my name funny as if the syllables were made of tin and
hurt the roof of your mouth. But in Spanish my name is made out of a softer
something, like silver, not quite as thick as sister’s name-Magdalena-which is
uglier than mine. Magdalena who at least can come home and become Nenny.
But I am always Esperanza.
     I would like to baptize myself under a new name, a name more like the real
me, the one nobody sees. Esperanza as Lisandra or Maritza or Zeze the X. Yes.
Something like Zeze the X will do.”
The House on Mango Street by Sandra
Cisneros
“My Name” Writing Activity
Step 1

Read through “My Name,” taken from The House on Mango Street all the way

through a minimum of three times. The third time through, concentrate of the

figurative language and sensory details Sandra Cisneros uses. Using colored

pencils or highlighters, mark and label the following as they appear in the

narrative: similes, metaphors, personification, and sensory details.



                                   REMINDER

Metaphor: A comparison of two things, which are alike in some

way, in order to clarify our understanding of one of them. (ex. The cause of the

fire is a puzzle.)

Personification: Making an inanimate object act like a person or animal. (ex.

The NIKE running shoes exhaled a sigh of relief after traveling such a long

distance.)

Simile: A comparison using “like” or “as” (ex. She sings like an angel.)




Name_________________________ Per ___

Step 2 Brainstorm or mind map in the space below what your name means to
you. Include a variety of details, including the history of your name, unique
spelling, nicknames, images or memories associated with your name, and even
abstract concepts (for example: if your name was a color, what color would it
be?)




Step 3 (paragraph rough draft is due Friday, Sept. 19) Now that you
have brainstormed about your name, organize your thoughts into a descriptive
paragraph. Create a strong personal voice in your writing. Remember to appeal
to the five senses and use metaphors and similes to bring your story alive for the
reader. If you are having difficulty, try and model your writing after Cisneros.


Descriptive Paragraph structure:
The topic sentence expresses the main idea of the paragraph
Supporting sentences in descriptive paragraphs include sensory
     details and imagery that expand on and support your topic sentence.
     They can also include figurative language.
A concluding, or clincher, sentence usually summarizes the paragraph’s
main idea. A writer can restate the topic more strongly, or may add punch with a
new idea that will bring the main idea home. The clincher sentence can also
make the reader want to continue reading, or continue caring about the topic.

“My Name” descriptive paragraph rough draft:

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Name_________________________ Per ___
Step 4

Word-process (type) your paper. Be sure to spell check and edit your paper

before you print your final copy. Make your text single-spaced.



Step 5 (Final project is due Monday, Sept. 22)

Take a white sheet of paper and fold it in half hamburger style. Place the paper

so the fold is facing up. Illustrate your name on the front. Draw your name using

colors, symbols, and images that reflect your writing. After your name is

illustrated on the front, glue your text inside so when the flap is opened, your

writing is exposed.




                                         What’s in a Name?
        M-E-I-G-H-A-N, I have to begin this writing by pointing out the fact that my
first name doesn’t follow the grammatical rule “I before e except after c.” It’s kind of
symbolic in a sense because I’m not particularly good at following the rules. It’s also
a Gallic name so undoubtedly, I have yet to meet another Meighan who too is Irish
and her parents decided to spell her name in a manner that most people suspect is
just a plain made-up spelling. Regardless, it suits me just fine and I wear this name
life a comfy pair of worn-in jeans.
        When I was little, I wasn’t a fan of my first name. My mom likes to tell me the
story about the time we were at the beach. I was about five and I was off playing
nearby with a girl close to my age. My mother kept hearing this cute little girl
screaming, “Jessica, Jessica, oh Jessica!” Then my mom proceeded to observe me as a
five-year-old sprint across the beach, run up to this little girl, and respond, “yes?”
Apparently, I liked the name Jessica at five. There are many more stories like this:
me trying on many different name personas but I finally found my way, at some
point, to my birth name Meighan.
        My parents never gave me a middle name and it took my parents seven days
to come up with my first name. I often asked them, “What were you doing for nine
months? Didn’t you have enough time to figure this one out? It’s a name, one word,
in some instances…one syllable! Come on!” To which my mother replied, “you were
so special that nothing we thought of could do you justice. So, we just had to wait,
lay our eyes on you, and then we’d know.” I’m still not sure I believe this. So, yes I
have no middle name. I guess my first name was unique and exotic enough.
        Finally, there is my last name, O-S-M-U-N. To me it looks exotic and foreign
but when it is pronounced it sounds quite common, “Osmun.” It is the same last
name as my husband, step daughter, one-year-old Morkie puppy, and a small group
of relatives in the neighborhood of Great Kills in Staten Island, New York. It is Irish,
like my first name, and it reminds me that like all of us in America at one point in
time we all came from somewhere else. There are only five letters to my last name
and this makes me very happy. My maiden name Melsheimer has ten letters and is
rarely pronounced correctly. This is my name Meighan Osmun and now that I am in
my thirties I am comfortable with it and believe it represents who I am.

				
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