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Esperanza Rising
Esperanza Rising
by Pam Muñoz Ryan

Esperanza Rising Themes

Little Words, Big Ideas

Perseverance

Abuelita is full of wise little gems in Esperanza Rising, but our favorite one is this: "Do not be afraid to start over" (2.38). If perseverance had a tagline, that would be it, don't you think? Th...

The Home

Next time on Soap Opera Central, a young woman's idea of "home" is thrown into crisis when her evil uncle burns down her family's house. Oh wait, no, that's actually what happens in Esperanza Risin...

Justice and Judgment

Esperanza Rising is fictionalized, sure, but the events behind the story are incredibly real. And when it comes to farm laborers during the Great Depression, questions of fairness and justice are e...

Society and Class

The characters in Esperanza Rising aren't just running away from Esperanza's super scary uncle. They're also looking for jobs and an opportunity for a better life. In Mexico in the 1920s, people li...

Poverty

For the first twelve years of her life, Esperanza lives the life of luxury. We kind of imagine it like this. But when she and her mother lose everything and have to flee to the United States, Esper...

Principles

When we first meet Esperanza in Esperanza Rising, we can tell she's a sweet kid—but we have no idea if she's really a good person. After all, it's pretty easy to be agreeable when you're super we...

Dreams, Hopes, and Plans

Esperzanza Rising is the story of plans gone awry. And boy do we mean awry. As the daughter of a wealthy Mexican rancher, Esperanza looks forward to a future as straightforward as the rows of grape...

Visions of America

Esperanza and Miguel imagine the United States to be a land of opportunity, where everyone gets a chance to succeed. Unfortunately, this dream turns out to be a wee bit idealistic. Sure, it looks l...

Prejudice

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...

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