Black, white, and orange illustration of Esperanza standing in front of a building or structure

The House on Mango Street

by Sandra Cisneros

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A Rice Sandwich Summary

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Last Updated January 9, 2023.

Esperanza asks her mother for a sandwich to take to school so that she can eat in the canteen rather than going home for lunch. Her mother says that it would be too much trouble to make sandwiches for all the children, even though Nenny, Kiki, and Carlos do not want to eat at school. Eventually, she gives in and makes Esperanza a rice sandwich, since they have no meat. Esperanza takes the sandwich to school and stands in line for the canteen, but the nun in charge of the line sends her to Sister Superior to obtain permission. Sister Superior says that Esperanza does not live far enough away to justify her eating at school and makes her point out her house from the window. This upsets Esperanza, who points at a run-down house which is not hers. Sister Superior tells her she can eat in the canteen that day but never again. The canteen is nothing special, and the rice sandwich is cold and unappetizing.

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