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                                                   Passage Analysis
                 A Close Reading Exercise from The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

Directions: Close read the following passage, highlight the connotative words and answer the questions
which follow.

                                              “The Family of Little Feet”

1.    There was a family. All were little. Their arms were little, and their hands were little, and their height was not
2.    tall, and their feet very small.
3.        The grandpa slept on the living room couch and snored through his teeth. His feet were fat and doughy like
4.    thick tamales, and these he powdered and stuffed into white socks and brown leather shoes.
5.        The grandma’s feet were lovely as pink pearls and dressed in velvety high heels that made her walk with a
6.    wobble, but she wore them anyway because they were pretty.
7.        The baby’s feet had ten tiny toes, pale and see through like a salamander’s, and these he popped into his
8.    mouth whenever he was hungry.
9.        The mother’s feet, plump and polite, descended like white pigeons from the sea of pillow, across the linoleum
10.   roses, down down the wooden stairs, over the chalk hopscotch squares, 5, 6, 7, blue sky.
11.       Do you want this? And gave us a paper bag with one pair of lemon shoes and one red and one pair of
12.   dancing shoes that used to be white but were now pale blue. Here, and we said thank you and waited until
13.   she went upstairs.
14.       Hurray! Today we are Cinderella because our feet fit exactly, and we laugh at Rachel’s one foot with a
15.   girl’s gray sock and a lady’s high heel. Do you like these shoes? But the truth is it is scary to look down at your
16.   foot that is no longer yours and see attached a long long leg.
17.       Everybody wants to trade. The lemon shoes for the red shoes, the red for the pair that were once white but
18.   are now pale blue, the pale blue for the lemon, and take them off and put them back on and keep on like this
19.   a long time until we got tired.
20.       Then Lucy screams to take our socks off and yes, it’s true. We have legs. Skinny and spotted with satin
21.   scars where scabs were picked, but legs, all our own, good to look at, and long.
22.       It’s Rachel who learns to walk the best all strutted in those magic high heels. She teaches us to cross
23.   and uncross our legs, and to run like a double-dutch rope, and how to walk down to the corner so that the
24.   shoes talk back to you with every step. Lucy, Rachel, me tee-tottering like so. Down to the corner where the
25.   men can’t take their eyes off us. We must be Christmas.

1. The diction in lines 9-10, which describe the mother, suggests that _________________________.
a. she is a graceful woman                   c. she is a klutz
b. she is obese                              d. she is an angry woman

2. The literary device used most in lines 1-2 is ____________________.
a. hyperbole                                 c. repetition
b. personification                           d. simile

3. In line 24, “shoes talk back” is an example of _________________________.
a. hyperbole                                 c. allusion
b. personification                           d. antithesis
4. In line 14, “Cinderella” is an example of ____________________.
a. personification                           c. antithesis
b. hyperbole                                 d. allusion

5.   In line 22, what is the effect of using the connotative word “strutted” instead of using “walked?”
a.   It suggests Rachel’s confidence when walking in her new shoes.
b.   It reinforces that Rachel is a fast learner.
c.   It shows that Rachel is stuck up and snobby.
d.   It lets the reader know that Rachel does not like her new shoes.

6. What is “scary” about not seeing your own foot but a “long long leg” as in line 15-16?
a. The shoes are scary because they are high heels.
b. It is scary to think they are wearing high heels and do not want to get caught by their parents.
c. It is scary to think their legs look like grown up women.
d. It is scary to think the shoes can make that much difference.

7. In underlined passage, line 14-15, the tone being conveyed is ____________________.
a. facetious                                 c. light-hearted
b. benevolent                                d. compassionate

8.   Which word or phrase is the best indicator for the above chosen tone?
a.   “Hurray!”
b.   “Today we are Cinderella”
c.   “we laugh at Rachel’s one foot”
d.   “a girl’s gray sock and a ladies high heel”

9. What type syntax is illustrated in the line “girls’ gray sock and a lady’s high heel” (line 15)?
a. compound                                   c. balance
b. complex                                    d. antithesis

10. The connotation of the word “Christmas” in line 25 is ___________________.
a. anticipation                            c. excitement
b. joy                                     d. beauty

11. The fluency of the paragraph can best be described as ____________________.
a. natural                                   c. vigorous
b. graceful                                  d. sense of rhythm

12. The clarity of the passage can best be described as ____________________.
a. flowery                                    c. lucid
b. explicit                                   d. redundant

Additional Notes:

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