Elvia Alvarado Childhood To Motherhood Analysis

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This section on gender features a passage from the Honduran human rights activist, Elvia Alvarado titled, “Childhood to Motherhood.” Throughout the passage, Alvarado retells her experiences as a woman growing up and having to deal with a violent, alcoholic father, an absentee mother, and the constant repression of her womanhood by Honduran society. All the while, her life experiences reflect on topics such as class, machismo, and femininity.
Elvia begins by recalling her memories of her feeble imitation of a childhood. From her father going to work everyday only to come home empty handed and wasting away at the bottom of a bottle. Or her mother who tolerated his abuse for some time and constantly forsaking her children To later on growing up never having any toys or other material possessions or time
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This becomes apparent when Elvia’s menarche, completely horrifies her and is clueless as to why it occurs. Furthermore, she has no knowledge of how sex works and is denied the proper resources to help care for her child. At no point in her life is she allowed to actually enjoy her womanhood and is forced into subservience until eventually being forced to be contentment with a less than average man simply because he wasn’t abusive. At all turns, Elvia throughout her life was forced to deal with the shortcomings of Honduran society in the aspects of class inequality, the prevalence of machismo, and the oppression of femininity. From being denied an education simply because she was both poor and a woman. To having to accept subpar living conditions simply because machismo in society creates an unbreakable society, Elvia shows true fortitude and resilience as a woman who since birth was destined to be a voice for others for having survived such brutal and backward
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