Selection Review #1 - Talent Development .97 Selection Review #2 Esperanza Rising “Los Higos”
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Select ion Review #1
Esperanza Ris ing
Introduction through Las Papayas
1. Describe Esperanzas family. Tell how she feels about each member. Esperanzas familyincludes her father, mother, and grandmother. Papa is a wealthy landowner who deeply loveshis only child. He likes to take walks with her in the fields. He does everything he can to makeher happy. Esperanza clearly adores him. She also deeply loves and admires her mother, atall, beautiful woman. Esperanza is also very fond of her grandmother, Abuelita. She is asmall, distinguished woman who likes to quote poetry and go outside barefoot. However,Esperanza dislikes and fears her two uncles, her fathers half-brothers, To Luis and ToMarco. These men remind her of goats, because they are tall and thin, with tiny mustachesand beards. They are cold and selfish.
2. What is the social situation in Mexico at the time when this story takes place? Describethe lifestyle of Esperanzas family. Tell about their friendship with Alfonso and Hortensia,the field boss and the housekeeper. At the time of this story, a big gap exists between therich and poor. A revolution took place that was supposed to improve this situation. However,a few wealthy people still own most of the land. This makes life very hard for the other,poorer people. Esperanzas family is wealthy. Her father has a huge ranch. He has manyworkers, including cowboys, field workers, and house servants. Still, he is a kind, caringman. He has given land to many of his employees. He and Alfonso, the field boss, workclosely together. Hortensia, Alfonsos wife, has a close, caring friendship with Esperanzasmother. Esperanza herself wears beautiful dresses of silk. She goes to school with otherwealthy children. Every year she has a huge party for her birthday.
3. What special event are Esperanza and her family looking forward to? What occurs theevening before the party to foreshadow unexpected problems? Esperanza and her familyare looking forward to her thirteenth birthday. However, several events occur the eveningbefore the party. Esperanza pricks her thumb on a rose. This is a sign of bad luck. Also,Esperanzas father does not come home at the usual time. Esperanza and her mother worry.They remember that neighbors told them there were bandits in the area.
4. What happens to Esperanzas father? How does this change her feelings about every-thing that has to do with her birthday? Esperanzas father and the cowboys are killed out inthe brush. After this, Esperanzas birthday just reminds her of her fathers death. She crieswhen she sees the papayas that Papa had ordered for her party. She doesnt even want toopen her gifts. She cries again when she sees the doll that Papa had bought for her.
5. Why does Mama find herself in a difficult situation after Papas will is read? Why does ToLuis threaten her? Mamas situation is difficult because the will gives her the house and theincome from the grapes, but To Luis becomes the owner of the land. To Luis pressures Mamato marry him. When she refuses, he threatens her. He is the bank president, and he is verypowerful. He can make it impossible for anyone to help Mama financially.
6. What are Miguel and his family planning to do? Why does Esperanza feel awkward aroundMiguel? Miguel and his family are planning to go to the United States. They have no chanceof improving their lives in Mexico. Also, they know that To Luis will be a harsh, cruel master.Esperanza feels awkward around Miguel because she is attracted to him. However, sheknows that a wealthy girl from a good family is not supposed to like a boy whose parentsare ordinary workers. She feels that she has to draw back from her feelings for Miguel, evenif this hurts his feelings.
Select ion Review #2
Esperanza Ris ing
Los Higos and Las Guayabas
1. Mama seems to change her mind after the fire, telling To Luis that she will consider hisoffer of marriage. Why? Mama knows that To Luis had the house burned down to pressureher to marry him. He hints that if she does not change her mind, he might burn the workershouses down too. Mama then sees how dangerous To Luis really is. She knows that if shetells him how she really feels, many more people could be hurt. She says she will think aboutmarrying him to have time to plan what to do next.
2. What is Mamas new plan? What are some of the problems with it? Why does Mama feelshe has no other choice? Mama plans to take Esperanza to live in the United States withHortensia, Alfonso, and Miguel. This will not be easy. Esperanza will have to leave her friendsand her school. Abuelita cannot travel with them right away since she hurt her ankle in thefire. Mama can find only field work in the United States. Still, Mama feels she has no otherchoice. She does not want to marry To Luis. He is an evil person, and she knows he willsend Esperanza away from her. She cannot safely hide from To Luis anywhere in Mexico.
3. Abuelita uses both her own experience and a symbol to make Esperanza feel better aboutthe move. Explain. Abuelita came to Mexico from Spain as a young girl. She tells Esperanzaabout the problems she faced then. She uses the zigzag blanket she is making as a symbol.She tells Esperanza that hard times are like the valleys of the zigzag. After each valley, thereis also a mountain. It stands for good times. Abuelita says that each person must livethrough many valleys and mountains in life.
4. How does Esperanza imagine her new life in California? What is wrong with this idea?What shows her what her true situation is? Esperanza thinks that she and Mama will livein California in a beautiful house with servants. This will not happen. They have no money topay for these things. Mama plans to work in the fields along with Hortensia and her family.Esperanza learns that she will have to wear hand-me-down clothes from the poor box. Thisreminds her that her situation has changed.
5. Describe Esperanzas ride to the train station. How does Hortensia help Esperanza staycalm during this ride? Esperanza, her mother, and Hortensia ride to the train station in afarm wagon. They crowd together in a hiding place under a false floor for two whole days.Hortensia reminds Esperanza about the time when bandits were in her house and she hidunder a bed with Hortensia and Miguel. continued...
6. Explain why Esperanza is in such a bad mood. How does she treat the little peasant girl?How is Mamas attitude different? Esperanza does not think she should have to travel in adirty car crowded with peasants. When the little girl wants to look at her doll, Esperanzagrabs it and hides it. Mama scolds her for behaving this way. She apologizes to the girlsmother for Esperanzas bad manners. She makes a yarn doll for the little girl. Mama is alsofriendly with Carmen, a peasant woman. She tells her about her personal problems.
7. Why does Mamas behavior upset Esperanza? Why does her conversation with Miguelupset her? Mama seems to have changed all the rules that Esperanza has been taught. Shesays that she and Esperanza are peasants now. Esperanza is not ready for this idea. Herconversation with Miguel also upsets her. Miguel thinks that rich people are selfish. Hepoints out that the light-skinned Spanish Mexicans are usually rich. The native Mexicans arenot so lucky. Esperanza feels uncomfortable because she never thought about this before.
Select ion Review #3
Esperanza Ris ing
Los Melones and Las Cebollas
1. Describe Juans family. Why do Isabels questions irritate Esperanza? Juan, Alfonsosbrother, has a wife, Josefina, two babies, Lupe and Pepe, and a young daughter, Isabel. Isabelasks Esperanza about her life in Mexico. Clearly, she has heard how rich Esperanzas familywas. Isabel thinks this is wonderful, but Esperanza does not like these questions. She doesnot want to be thought of as a spoiled rich girl. She wants people to accept her for herself.
2. Describe Esperanzas strange feelings when she tries to hear the heartbeat of the valley.How does Miguel act when he finds her? What does this show us about Miguel? Esperanzalies down to listen to the valley, but she does not hear anything. She is so upset that she beginsto cry. As she lies there crying, she feels as if she were floating away. Then she feels as if shewere falling. She is afraid and everything goes black around her. Miguel finds her and isconcerned. He sits quietly holding her hand. He tells her that he also misses Papa, Abuelita,and the ranch. He is sorry about Isabels questions. We see that he really cares about Esper-anza. He knows what is bothering her deep down inside.
3. Explain why Marta is so unfriendly. What do we learn from Martas remarks about theproblems in the work camps? Marta is unfriendly to Esperanza because she thinks all richpeople are bad. Esperanza is not rich any more, but Marta sees her as an enemy becauseshe used to be rich. Martas remarks show that some of the workers are not happy abouttheir lives. They want the other workers to strike. They think this would make the companiesimprove their living conditions. We can also guess that the workers of different groups do notalways get along. There are workers from Oklahoma, Mexicans, Japanese, and Filipinos. Theylive in different camps. The companies want to keep the different groups apart.
4. Isabel says that the camp her family lives in is a good one. However, when Esperanza seesthe camp, she is very upset. List both good points and bad points about the camp. Explainwhy Isabel thinks it is good, but Esperanza thinks it is bad. Some of the camps goodpoints are that workers live in houses with electricity and running water, children can go toschool, and there are parties. Some of the bad points are that many people must share onetiny house, and everyone