In moving from Mexico to the United States, Esperanza and her family move from a very classist society to one in which discrimination usually depends on racial and ethnic bias, rather than how much money you've got in your wallet. As a light-skinned member of Mexico's upper class, Esperanza isn't used to being discriminated against. In fact, she's used to being the one doing the discriminating. But Esperanza Rising is all about out with the old, in with the new, so Esperanza will have to figure out how to rise above the differences that divide her community. In doing so, we're pretty sure she'll create a new and better life for herself.
So much for equality. Even though the United States is supposedly a classless society, racial discrimination in Esperanza Rising means that the Mexican immigrants, as well as any other groups that are not white, are treated as second-class citizens.
Funny how the tables have turned. Esperanza goes from being a person who discriminates against the poor in Mexico to a person who experiences discrimination because she is Mexican.