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Esperanza Rising

Esperanza Rising

by Pam Muñoz Ryan

Dreams, Hopes, and Plans Theme

Esperzanza Rising is the story of plans gone awry. And boy do we mean awry. As the daughter of a wealthy Mexican rancher, Esperanza looks forward to a future as straightforward as the rows of grapes in her father's vineyards. But that future soon disappears and Esperanza finds herself immigrating to a strange new country where she has no idea what lies around the bend. Her fellow immigrants come to the United States with big dreams and plans to work hard, and despite the many difficulties that Esperanza encounters, she comes to feel that making a new life in the United States is a dream worth having.

Questions About Dreams, Hopes, and Plans

  1. How do Esperanza's plans and dreams change as the novel progresses? How does Esperanza picture her adult self when she's twelve? What about when she's fourteen?
  2. What are Miguel's dreams? Why does he feel that he needs to move to the United States in order to accomplish them?
  3. According to Josefina, why do many immigrants move to a new country?
  4. What goals does Esperanza actually accomplish in the novel? How do these accomplishments shape how she feels about the future?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

Esperanza's goals at the end of the novel are much more awesome than the plans of her twelve-year-old self, because accomplishing them will require lots of hard work, and that's what really counts.

When she has to take on the responsibility of caring for her sick mother, Esperanza becomes an adult—and her dreams become more adult, too, especially compared to her childish dream of getting her wealth back.

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