The Hummingbird's Daughter Teresita Analysis

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As noted by Thomas Foster in How to Read Literature Like a Professor, perspective is everything. When reading, it is important to consider the viewpoints of the era a text emerges from or takes place in. Luís Alberto Urrea’s The Hummingbird’s Daughter takes place in the late nineteenth century, but was produced in 2005. The world has changed over the last century and some. Significantly. So much so, that the ensuing reactions from audiences to Tía’s abusive treatment of Teresita would be starkly different in their intensities, albeit both negative. After having snuck into the main house and spent time with Don Tomás, Teresita returns home to Tía and tells her what happened. Her “parental figure” goes berzerk; “‘You stupid little shit,’ she…show more content…
But not in nineteenth century Mexico, no. Rather than reacting angrily or upset at Tías actions, Huila reprimands Teresita, “‘Ay niña,’ Huila (says), shaking her head. ‘No matter what happens to you, don’t ever pee on yourself… Fear kills you twice, and it gives your enemy pleasure… No peeing!’” (Urrea 76). America today is one of activists and the easily angered (though this isn’t to criticize that at all). The late nineteenth century was not one for child advocacy, and the master-layman dynamic of the rural Mexican rancho only furthered the silent response to the abuse Teresita suffers. Only someone in power like Tomás could actually cause any action to be taken against Tía, but he doesn’t stoop to dealing with the situation. In fact, he doesn’t even know it happens. The media and advocacy presence of America today starkly contrasts the mindset of the late 1800s. Any reader back then would have surely reacted negatively, but not nearly to the same degree. In fact, it’s even possible that if the reader was a servant or someone else of a low socio-economic status, they might consider Tías response to be
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