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Esperanza Rising

Esperanza Rising

by Pam Muñoz Ryan

Poverty Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

"We have little money and Hortensia, Alfonso, and Miguel are no longer our servants. We are indebted to them for our finances and our future. And that trunk of clothes for the poor? Esperanza, it's for us." (4.86)

Hate to break it to you, but this isn't a "rags to riches" story. In fact, it's quite the opposite.

Quote #2

In front of the station, a crippled Indian woman crawled on her knees, her hand outstretched toward a group of ladies and gentlemen who were finely dressed in clothes like the ones that used to hang in Esperanza's and Mama's closets. The people turned their backs on the begging woman but Carmen walked over and gave her a coin and some tortillas from her bag. (5.95)

This is a pretty powerful moment, don't you think? A woman with next to nothing to her name shares her valuable food with a beggar. Why is Carmen so generous, when she has so little to give?

Quote #3

"She has eight children and sells eggs to survive. Yet when she can barely afford it she gave your mother two hens and helped the crippled woman," said Miguel. "The rich take care of the rich and the poor take care of those who have less than they have." (5.96)

Think back to everyone's descriptions of Papa's generosity. Is it fair to generalize like this, or was Papa just an exception to the rule?

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