by Pam Muñoz Ryan
Esperanza Rising Prejudice Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Chapter.Paragraph)
"Esperanza, people here think that all Mexicans are alike. They think that we are all uneducated, dirty, poor, and unskilled. It does not occur to them that many have been trained in professions in Mexico." (11.39)
Esperanza is surprised to learn that Americans have this stereotype of Mexicans. It's not at all true in her experience, but then again, she's used to stereotyping (or at the very least seeing herself as above) poor people. Now the tables have turned.
"Americans see us as one big, brown group who are good for only manual labor." (11.41)
Yikes. Unfair much? The sad thing is, this stereotype also reminds us of the equally unfair way Esperanza saw the wealthy treating the poor in Mexico.
"At this market, no one stares at us or treats us like outsiders or calls us 'dirty greasers.' My father says that Mr. Yakota is a very smart businessman. He is getting rich on other people's bad manners." (11.41)
Maybe Mr. Yakota is more respectful toward Mexican immigrants than the other shop owners because he, too, is an immigrant. Or maybe he's just being a smart businessman, because he knows you catch more flies with honey. Either way, Esperanza will take it.