Virgin Of Guadalupe Summary

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The story goes that on December 8th, 1534, on a hill next to Mexico City, a figure showed itself to the indigenous boy Juan Diego (Peterson, Virgin 39) The figure spoke in the boy’s native language, Nahuatl, and asked for a church to be built in her honor on the exact same spot (Peterson, Virgin 39). Almost five centuries later someone who travels to Mexico will not only find a basilica built in the name of the Virgin of Guadalupe, but will encounter thousands of images and representations of her throughout the whole of the nation. What is now known as Mexico’ mother of the nation’ is a dynamic icon that has been reinterpreted many times throughout Mexican history (King 1-9). In this thesis I will investigate and analyze representations of…show more content…
These traditional representations of the Virgin are complex images since they are filled with small details. The Virgin of Guadalupe stands in the center of the painting, and is surrounded by many different elements. The representations of the Virgin of Guadalupe in Figure. 1 and Figure .2 show a darker and more complex skin tone than that of a European colonizer. This alone suggests that she is representing an indigenous woman, and not a woman of European decent. As Jeanette Peterson discusses in more detail: “Guadalupe displays an oval face and regular features that are decidedly those of a Renaissance Virgin Mary. Her skin tonality is an ashen olive... Guadalupe’s skin color and black hair mark important ethnic signifiers” (Peterson, Creating 572-573). The Virgin’s body is fully covered with cloth. The dress under her robe is of white and red color. The dress is very long, which can be seen since a part of it literally lays on the crescent moon. Her robe has a blue color and is covered with stars. She wears a crown on her head. This might be a reference to the Spanish monarchy, constituting a link between Guadalupe and the Crown. However, she might also be depicted with a crown in order to construct Guadalupe as the queen of Mexicans, as Jacques Lafaye calls her in later times (280). Her clothing strikes both as pious as well as noble, and for the spectator resembles a more European apparel. However, there are signs of indigenous…show more content…
As Luis Leal identifies in his extensive study over the two main female archetypes in Mexican literature, the Virgin of Guadalupe and her counterpart Malintzin5: “there is no doubt that Mexican literature reflects the prejudices of the ages, and creates types that are remolded within the limits of these prejudices, most of them derived from the past” (240). Since Mexican literature starts in the colonial period, these prejudices are subjected to the negotiation of the dominant culture with the subordinate culture as discussed before. Where two entirely different cultures blend into one, it likely results in a situation where social roles are redefined, constructed and altered. Luis Leal continues by stating that feminine archetypes reflect the characteristics that have

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