by Pam Muñoz Ryan
Esperanza Rising Visions of America Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Chapter.Paragraph)
"She was born here and her mother, too. They are citizens," said Isabel […] "Her father came from Sonora during the revolution. They have never even been to Mexico." (8.44)
Esperanza learns that not everyone in her new community is an immigrant. Not everyone is like her. In fact, there are boatloads of Mexican Americans who have never even seen Mexico. So is there any shared experience that ties these folks to the more recent immigrant community, other than their ethnic background?
Esperanza looked out the window. Thousands of acres of tilled soil were becoming food for la tormenta and the sky was turning into a brown swirling fog. (9.43)
La tormenta? No thank you. This dust storm sounds downright terrifying. But it also reminds us of what's going on in America during the time in which this book takes place. In the 1930s, dust storms in the Midwest forced a ton of farmers out of their homes. And where did they go? California, of course, where they had to compete for jobs with immigrants from Mexico and other countries, too.
"Are we going to starve?" asked Isabel.
"No, mija," said Josefina. "How could anyone starve here with so much food around us?" (12.26-27)
It's hard to imagine that poverty could exist in the middle of such abundance. Seriously, can't they just pick some food from the rows, whenever they're hungry? Not exactly. See—the food isn't theirs. It's the farm owners'. The workers have to live in very impoverished conditions. Some families—like the one Esperanza runs into at the strikers' camp—are even starving, because they can't make enough money to get by.