| Quote #7
Sally, who taught you to paint your eyes like Cleopatra? And if I roll the little brush with my tongue and chew it to a point and dip it in the muddy cake, the one in the little red box, will you teach me? (32.3)
Here Esperanza expresses a longing to be initiated into the rites of femininity. She's in awe of Sally's feminine knowledge, and her request to be taught about makeup is an expression of her desire to be more feminine.
| Quote #8
Minerva is only a little bit older than me but already she has two kids and a husband who left. Her mother raised her kids alone and it looks like her daughters will go that way too. (33.1)
The problems that women face in one generation seem to be passed down to the next.
| Quote #9
Nenny says she won't wait her whole life for a husband to come and get her […] Nenny has pretty eyes and it's easy to talk that way if you are pretty. (35.2)
Esperanza perceives beauty to be a source of power for women. Because Nenny is pretty, Esperanza thinks that her life will be easier.