by Pam Muñoz Ryan
Esperanza Rising Prejudice Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Chapter.Paragraph)
"They are making a new camp for people from Oklahoma," said Isabel. […] "They get inside toilets and hot water! And a swimming pool!" (13.22)
Isabel is so excited about this new camp, but Esperanza is old enough to realize what it means that the camp for white workers will be nicer than their own. Sure, the folks from Oklahoma had it seriously rough. But many of the Mexican immigrants had an even tougher go of it.
"The Mexicans can only swim on Friday afternoons, before they clean the pool on Saturday mornings."
Esperanza pounded the dough a little too hard. "Do they think we are dirtier than the others?" (13.25-26)
We can tell Esperanza is upset by this news, and by the implication that Mexicans are dirty. It's a silly rule for an even sillier reason.
"Have you heard that they are building a new camp for the Okies, with a swimming pool? The Mexicans can only swim in it on the afternoon before they clean it! Have you heard they will be given inside toilets and hot water? Why is that, Miguel? Is it because they are the fairest in the land?" (13.46)
Esperanza has remained quiet about all the injustice she has seen… until now. This outburst lets us know that she's learned a lot by quietly observing what's been going on around her.