The very short chapter "Alicia Who Sees Mice" is a sketch of one of Esperanza's friends, who wants to escape her life and eventually does by going to college. Figurative language is part of the description of Alicia's early life:
a woman's place is sleeping so she can wake up early with the tortilla star . . .
This indicates that Alicia should forget about her fear of mice and relinquish her imagination in general, because her role is to cook. Her mother died, and her father wants Alicia to know that she is to make the tortillas for him now.
This quote is an example of both imagery (a "tortilla star") and metaphor—comparing a tortilla to a star.
In "A Rice Sandwich," Esperanza says, "I'm no Spartan and hold up an anemic wrist to prove it." She is trying to tell everyone that she doesn't want to suffer; she just wants to eat lunch in the school canteen.
She is using allusion , or reference to a historical or literary event, to prove a point. She refers to the ancient Greek Spartans, who were...
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