Esperanza Rising

by

Pam Muñoz Ryan

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Tío Luis Character Analysis

Papa’s eldest stepbrother and the president of the local bank. A conniving, cruel man who, together with his younger brother Marco, takes advantage of Sixto’s death as a path towards acquiring the dead man’s land, wealth, and even his wife Ramona. Through blackmail, violence, and insidious cruelty, Luis attempts to extort Ramona into accepting his marriage proposal, which will assure him political power as he embarks on his campaign for governor. Luis is a petty and vengeful man, and though Ramona and Esperanza are able to escape his and Marco’s clutches, the two women remain haunted by how quickly and violently their own “family” turned against them in their time of need.

Tío Luis Quotes in Esperanza Rising

The Esperanza Rising quotes below are all either spoken by Tío Luis or refer to Tío Luis. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Wealth, Privilege, and Class Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Scholastic edition of Esperanza Rising published in 2000.
Chapter 2 Quotes

“My father and I have lost faith in our country. We were born servants here and no matter how hard we work we will always be servants. Your father was a good man. He gave us a small piece of land and a cabin. But your uncles . . . you know their reputation. They would take it all away and treat us like animals. We will not work for them. The work is hard in the United States but at least there we have a chance to be more than servants.”

“But Mama and Abuelita . . . they need . . . we need you.”

“My father says we won’t leave until it is necessary.” He reached over and took her hand. “I’m sorry about your papa.”

His touch was warm and Esperanza’s heart skipped. She looked at her hand in his and felt the color rushing to her face. Surprised at her own blush, she pulled away from him. She stood and stared at the roses.

An awkward silence built a wall between them. She glanced quickly at him. He was still looking at her, with eyes full of hurt. Before Miguel left her there, he said softly, “You were right, Esperanza. In Mexico we stand on different sides of the river.”

Related Symbols: The River, Papa’s Roses
Page Number: 36-37
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Esperanza Rising LitChart as a printable PDF.
Esperanza Rising PDF

Tío Luis Character Timeline in Esperanza Rising

The timeline below shows where the character Tío Luis appears in Esperanza Rising. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1: Las Uvas (Grapes)
Grief and Loss Theme Icon
...of Alfonso, Miguel, and Papa. A pair of riders approach, but it is only Tío Luis and Tío Marco—Papa’s older stepbrothers. Luis is the bank president, and Marco is the town... (full context)
Chapter 2: Las Papayas (Papayas)
Wealth, Privilege, and Class Theme Icon
Grief and Loss Theme Icon
In the days after the funeral, Marco and Luis come by the house every day to hole up in Papa’s study and “take care... (full context)
Wealth, Privilege, and Class Theme Icon
Grief and Loss Theme Icon
...grapes to her and Esperanza, the land—not usually left behind to women—has been given to Luis, the banker on Sixto’s loans. Luis slides a piece of paper across the desk and... (full context)
Wealth, Privilege, and Class Theme Icon
Grief and Loss Theme Icon
After a pause, Mama says that she is offended by Luis’s offer, and Luis’s face “harden[s.]” He tells Ramona that she will regret her decision—her house... (full context)
Wealth, Privilege, and Class Theme Icon
Grief and Loss Theme Icon
Hope and Rebirth Theme Icon
...Esperanza, Hortensia, and Alfonso discuss what they should do. Abuelita has money in the bank—though Luis would probably prevent her from taking it out. Esperanza suggests they borrow money from their... (full context)
Wealth, Privilege, and Class Theme Icon
Grief and Loss Theme Icon
Hope and Rebirth Theme Icon
...to make a life for themselves on the small piece of land Sixto gave them, Luis would simply take it away. Miguel takes Esperanza’s hand and tells her how sorry he... (full context)
Chapter 3: Los Higos (Figs)
Wealth, Privilege, and Class Theme Icon
Grief and Loss Theme Icon
Soon, Esperanza spots Luis and Marco approaching on horseback. They ride right up to Mama and apologize for her... (full context)
Grief and Loss Theme Icon
After a quiet moment, Ramona meekly tells Luis that she will consider his proposal. Luis, delighted, tells Ramona he’ll return in a few... (full context)
Grief and Loss Theme Icon
Hope and Rebirth Theme Icon
...Esperanza would have to depend on the charity of others, but due to Marco and Luis’s influence they’d probably have no friends or allies. Hortensia speaks up and says that together,... (full context)
Wealth, Privilege, and Class Theme Icon
Grief and Loss Theme Icon
Hope and Rebirth Theme Icon
...the plan, but Mama tells her that if they stay, they will be separated by Luis’s cruel plans. Esperanza agrees at last that going to California is the only option. Abuelita... (full context)
Wealth, Privilege, and Class Theme Icon
Grief and Loss Theme Icon
Hope and Rebirth Theme Icon
...with Señor Rodriguez—the only person in town they can trust—and craft an escape plan. When Luis comes back to the ranch, Mama tells him that she plans to accept his proposal—a... (full context)
Chapter 4: Las Guayabas (Guavas)
Hope and Rebirth Theme Icon
...safe for women to be seen on the road at night because of bandits, and Luis and Marco’s spies could be anywhere—Señor Rodrigez explains that they will need to travel to... (full context)
Chapter 13: Las Uvas (Grapes)
Grief and Loss Theme Icon
Hope and Rebirth Theme Icon
...this time in Mexico. She reveals that she could hardly go to the market without Luis and Marco’s spies following her. Abuelita had been tormented for months by “premonition[s]” that something... (full context)