At a family party Esperanza gets new clothes but must wear her old saddle shoes, and she is so ashamed of them that she won’t dance with a boy she wants to. When she finally dances with her uncle, her feet feel large and embarrassing. Later in the book, Sally
’s black suede shoes symbolize her sexual maturity, and Esperanza envies them as she befriends Sally. In the monkey garden
, when Esperanza is being mocked by Sally and the boys, her own feet feel foreign to her – she is conflicted between her desire to be attractive and her desire to be free of male dominance.