by Pam Muñoz Ryan
Esperanza Rising Society and Class Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Chapter.Paragraph)
Esperanza noticed that the people in the first cars were escorted to the shortest lines and passed through quickly. (6.1)
When the passengers cross the border from Mexico into the United States, the wealthier people from the first class cars get the VIP treatment. But the poorer people have to stand in long lines and answer more questions; and in the end, many of them are turned away. In this case, race has nothing to do with it—it's all about the Benjamins.
"Those people are Filipinos," she said. "They live in their own camp. And see over there?" She pointed to a field down the road. "Those people are from Oklahoma. They live in Camp 8. There's a Japanese camp, too. We all live separate and work separate. They don't mix us." (6.96)
Isabel explains to Esperanza that the farm workers of different ethnicities and nationalities live separately. One the one hand, this allows Esperanza to speak Spanish in her new community. But on the other hand, it allows farm owners to give preferential treatment to some groups based on racial bias. And, you know, it kind of prevents quality mingling.
She repeated Hortensia's recipe and as she sat for the second time with her hands smothered, she realized that it wouldn't matter how much avocado and glycerine she put on them, they would never look like the hands of a wealthy woman from El Rancho de las Rosas. Because they were the hands of a poor campesina. (11.10)
The changes in Esperanza's life have left their mark on her body. We're pretty sure this means that Esperanza's transformation from spoiled rich girl to gracious young woman isn't just temporary.