WHY AND HOW ESPERANZA'S TONE TOWARD SALLY CHANGED AFTER RED CLOWNS
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In this chapter, Esperanza's illusions of her first kiss are shattered when a boy forces himself upon her at a carnival. Waiting for her companion, Sally, who has gone somewhere with "that big boy," Esperanza waits "by the red clowns, just like you said, but you never came, you never came for me." Instead, Esperanza is surrounded and assaulted; the fear and humiliation she experiences are far from the pleasure Sally, novels, and magazines promised her a kiss would be. Cisneros' diction and syntax creates this chapter's tone of panic. The repetition, for example, of "you lied," "why did you lie?" and "you're a liar" emphasize how Esperanza feels that Sally has both physically and emotionally misled her. Indeed, Esperanza's barrage of questions (such as "Why didn't you hear me when I called? Why didn't you tell them to leave me alone?") aid our understanding of her helplessness and abandonment.