Symbolism In Viramontes Under The Feet Of Jesus

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In Viramontes’ novel Under the Feet of Jesus, the author composes symbolic representations about the daily life of a migrant worker. Symbols used throughout the novel was the barn as a figure to represent a church, Petra’s statue of Jesus that symbolized her faith in Christianity and the baby doll with no mouth that represented the views on silence. The author uses symbolism to get her message across on how the difficulties of migrant workers. The symbols, the barn, Jesus statue, and the baby with no mouth represent the migrant workers’ stance on faith. In the novel, the image of a barn is one that is used repeatedly to introduce new concepts in Estrella’s life, symbolizing her discovery of a new sense of self and voice. The barn may also be a symbol of the collective experiences of a generation of Hispanic migrant workers, portraying their hardships and collective journey as well as Estrella’s personal development. More than a decrepit building, the barn represents a space where Estrella can complete her transformation and empowerment. The structure is described as a "cathedral," a place of religious contemplation (Viramontes 9). Estrella continues to use the building as a place for reflection. By the end of the novel, Estrella uses the barn as a platform, realizing her own power and believing herself strong enough…show more content…
The barn is seen through the eyes of Estrella as a holy place because it was a stable refuge. Petra’s statue of Jesus was a representation of her faith, but when it broke it symbolized the deterioration of her reliance in the religion. The baby doll without a mouth is shown like the migrant workers unable to talk and voicing an opinion towards their rights. The characters in the novel had a strong stance rooted into symbolic representations of Christianity. Petra and Estrella both learned the harsh reality of self-reliance and the fact that God will not always be
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