In Esperanza Rising, Esperanza says that you can never have too much sky. Why does the sky symbolize for her?

For Esperanza in Esperanza Rising, the sky symbolizes her potential to soar high and realize her dreams.

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The sky is a frequent image in Esperanza Rising. In the chapter called "Grapes," Esperanza has a joyous reunion with her Abuelita, brought to the family by Miguel. Esperanza is overjoyed, as is the rest of the family.

Shortly before her birthday, Esperanza asks Miguel to drive her to the foothills. There, she experiences the sunrise and lets herself float. Although when she first came to the valley and felt herself floating to the sky, she felt frightened, this time, she doesn't:

she glided above the earth, unafraid. She let herself be lifted into the sky, and she knew that she would not slip away.

With her Abuelita and Miguel with her, along with the rest of her family, she feels rooted and secure. Her family connects her to earth in away that allows her to feel safe enough to dream big. The sky symbolizes how she won't be held down:

She soared with the anticipation of dreams she never knew she could have, of learning English, of supporting her family, of someday buying a tiny house ... infinite possibilities ...

It seems a paradox that rootedness allows Esperanza to soar in order to dream and realize her potential. But without that foundation, she would be afraid to fly high for fear of floating away. It is as if the people she loves hold one end of very long rope tied around her waist that can now unfurl and let her move higher and higher into the sky. She can take the risk of pursuing her dreams because she knows her family will never let her go.

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Soaring plane image

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