by Pam Muñoz Ryan
Esperanza Rising Theme of The Home
Next time on Soap Opera Central, a young woman's idea of "home" is thrown into crisis when her evil uncle burns down her family's house. Oh wait, no, that's actually what happens in Esperanza Rising. Esperanza and her Mama have to make a choice: keep their wealth and be separated by the evil Tío Luis, or flee the country and live together in poverty. In the end, it's a pretty easy decision.
Their new digs in California aren't what Esperanza is used to. Instead of a luxuriously furnished mansion, she and her Mama have to share a two-room shack with three other people. But as Esperanza's Mama teaches her, it doesn't really matter where they go. As long as they're with the people they love, they are home. (Cue sappy music.)
Questions About The Home
- Draw a picture of El Rancho de las Rosas, Esperanza's childhood home. Pretty swank, huh?
- What objects do Esperanza, Mama, Hortensia, Alfonso, and Miguel bring from Mexico to the farm camp in California? Why are these objects special?
- What does Esperanza's new house look like in California? What things does the family use to decorate the cabin? Are they old things? New things?
- Draw Esperanza's family tree. What does it look like? Are all the members of Esperanza's family related by blood? Who feels more like family to Esperanza: Tío Luis or Isabel?
Chew on This
The objects that decorate Esperanza's new home in California—babies' toys, Isabel's pictures, peaches from the field, and Papa's roses—represent the blending of Esperanza's old and new lives.
Even though Esperanza is related to her uncles by blood, she doesn't really consider them to be her family. On the other hand, Hortensia, Alfonso, Miguel, and their relatives in the United States do become part of Esperanza's family, even though they're not technically related.