[2015] Kelsey Cho: Symbolism of the Flowers

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Language Arts

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[2015] Kelsey Cho: Symbolism of the Flowers

“Someday she would like to go to the ballet. Someday she would like to see a play” (Cisneros 90).

The repetition of the phrase “Someday she would like” emphasizes that even though Mama is not proud of her decisions in the past, she still has dreams and aspirations. Mama doesn't let her past decisions ruin her present life.

Click here to find information on the traditional Spanish form of operas, known as Zarzuelas!

“Today while cooking oatmeal she is Madame Butterfly until she sighs and points the wooden spoon at me” (Cisneros 91).

Literary Devices!

In the passage, Esperanza gives examples of what Mama is and is not capable of, leading the reader to infer that Mama is very skilled in the arts, but is not street smart.

Madama Butterfly - Sung by Maria Callas


“She has lived in the city her whole life. She can speak two languages. She can sing an opera. She knows how to fix a T.V. But she doesn't know which subway train to take to get downtown” (Cisneros 90).

Indirect Characterization of Mama

Madama Butterfly is an opera written by Giacomo Puccini. The allusion to Madame Butterfly emphasizes that Mama is Madama Butterfly. Mama gave up her education in order to fit in with society. Similarly, Butterfly gave up her personal relationships in order to be with a man.

Allusion to Madama Butterfly

Indoor Theater

Morning Glories

The morning glories symbolize nature and beauty. The flowers help to emphasize that Mama's voice is a natural talent, and that it is beautiful and vibrant, like the colors of morning glories.

“She borrows opera records from the public library and sings with velvety lungs powerful as morning glories” (Cisneros 90).

Symbolism of the Flowers

Poster for Madama Butterfly

A Street in the City


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