Analysis Of Helena Maria Viramonte's Under The Feet Of Jesus

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Helena Maria Viramonte’s, Under the Feet of Jesus explores many aspects of rural life in the late 1960’s. The novel captures the conflicts between cultures, society, wants, and love. Viramonte’s navigates throughout the life of a family that is dependent on rural work that only receives two dollars a day for all of their hard work in the fields, while under the blistering sun. The protagonist Estrella, a girl close to crossing into womanhood. Her life has been depended on rural work, and she has learned what life is from her mother. As Estrella and her family work on the field where the land makes them invisible to the rest of the world. Within their work Estrella develops as a person as she grows into womanhood. Though her relationship with…show more content…
Alejo has bloomed a flower inside Estrella. A voice for the invisible society that works on farms. Estrella goes to school and learns there that words have so much strength and she learns how to read. These are her steps into developing her voice for her people that are alienated away from society. With the beauty of the California landscape Estrella is forced to see how workers are treated as subjects instead of being citizens. With the spray and conflicts between cultures Viramonte’s tone, symbolism, series of events, and the relationship between Alejo successfully express Estrella’s development of change. Viramonte’s develops Estrella’s character by using symbolism. In part 1 Perfecto’s toolbox is used as a symbol of Estrella gaining and noticing her power of using her voice. Perfecto is Estrella's mothers boyfriend. As…show more content…
Specifically in part 1 the barn is reference to, “the shade of the barn, a cathedral of a building.”(9). Estrella is seeing the barn as a place of holy ground. Viramontes messes around with religion aspects throughout the book specifically Christianity. Possibly the reference between the barn as a cathedral is meant to represent the start of Estrella’s voice and her sense of self. Since cathedrals are a place of holy ground for many religions the barn represents Estrella’s holy ground. A place where she can be herself and a place where she can develop her voice for her people. The barn represents her empowerment. Possibly the barn represents the hardships of her family's survival and the other Mexican migrant workers throughout the novel. As the barn reminds her of her family and how the farmers work it reminds her of who she is and the barrier between her culture and the outside culture between rural society and the urban society. The marginalization between cultures and society is played hugely by Viramontes, she does this to show the difference between Estrella’s culture and the others. By using the raisin girl on the box, “Estrella saw a girl smiling with grapes” (49). Which does not capture her image. It shows how society is hiding the truth from everyone from knowing that children are picking fruit for people who are wealthy or in middle class. This sparks
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