In The House on Mango Street, how does she convince her mother to let her go to the canteen for lunch in chapter "A Rice Sandwich"?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Esperanza manages to convince her mother to let her eat lunch at school by repeatedly nagging at her for a few days until she gives in. Initially her mother argues that it would create extra work for her, as she would have to make the lunches the night before, and this is something she doesn't want to do. However, Esperanza finds a counterargument that manages to convince her:

I know how to make my own lunch. If I ate at school there'd be less dishes to wash. You would see me less and less and like me better. Everyday at noon my chair would be empty. Where is my favourite daughter you would cry, and when I came home finally at three p.m. you would appreciate me.

There is a certain element of humour in the argument that Esperanza proposes. She caricatures her mother, and apes her expression in order to try and convince her that seeing less of her during the day would actually help her to love her daughter more. It is this repeated nagging and arguing that leads Esperanza's mother to give in, saying that her daughter can take with her a rice sandwich to school.


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