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Analysis

Literary Devices in Esperanza Rising

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Setting

Aguascalientes, Mexico, 1924-1930Aguascalientes is a teensy-tiny state in central Mexico that some people say is shaped like a kiss. (That's totally irrelevant information, but we just thought it w...

Narrator Point of View

It's pretty clear from the get-go that Esperanza Rising is going to focus on Esperanza's perspective. And by get-go, we mean the very first paragraph:"Our land is alive, Esperanza," said Papa, taki...

Genre

Esperanza Rising is a classic coming-of-age tale that explores Esperanza's transition from slightly-spoiled little rich girl to mature, reflective adult. But since Esperanza's family plays a centra...

Tone

Pam Muñoz Ryan really loves Esperanza. How can we tell? Well, she's kind of like a too-nice friend: she's never critical or harsh, even when Esperanza acts like a spoiled brat. Instead, she tries...

Writing Style

Our author sure isn't trying to hide anything. With her straightforward sentences, it's pretty clear that she really wants us to understand what she's trying to say. And that's helpful, since she's...

What's Up With the Title?

Two little words, so much meaning.Spoiler alert: Esperanza is the main character. But wait, there's more! The word "esperanza" also means "hope" in Spanish. Hope, eh? There is quite a bit of that g...

What's Up With the Epigraph?

Aquel que hoy se cae, se levantará mañana. He who falls today may rise tomorrow.Es más rico el rico cuando empobrece que el pobre cuando enriquece. The rich person is richer when he becomes poor...

What's Up With the Ending?

When we get to the end of Esperanza Rising, we get the feeling that we've been here before. Not only because we've read this novel twenty times already—because the ending kind of reminds us of th...

Tough-o-Meter

Sure, there are a few Spanish words and phrases in Esperanza Rising, but don't let that scare you off—the author explains them all within the story. Plus, you might learn a little Spanish along t...

Plot Analysis

Everything's Coming Up Roses On El Rancho de las Rosas (The Ranch of Roses) in Aguascalientes, Mexico, Esperanza is surrounded by people who adore her. And as the daughter of the ranch owner, she h...

Trivia

The Pura Belpré Award, which honors Latino and Latina authors and illustrators of books for children, was awarded to Pam Muñoz Ryan not once, not twice, but—wait for it—three times. Her first...

Allusions

Don Quijote (2.19)Cinderella (7.90)Mexican Revolution (2.24, 6.92)Voluntary deportation (12.47)Pop Culture References"Las Mañanitas" (2.16, 3.1, 14.105)
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