Character Analysis of Under the Feet of Jesus by Helena Maria Viramontes
797 WordsApr 11, 20124 Pages
“Finding One’s Self in Times of Trouble”: An explication of the Helena Maria Viramontes’ novel
Under the Feet of Jesus.
Helena Maria Viramontes' Under the Feet of Jesus portrays the maturing of Estrella, a young Latina that seems to awaken in many different aspects of her life. The author’s use of Estrella give the book its strength and potency. Estrella is an affectionate character, which is at the center of all the important issues. She is used a symbol to represent the small amount of strength that lingers at a person’s weakest point. Estrella, throughout the entire novel, serves as the strong base for the family and through the setting established, the audience is able to see her grow in her social, political, economical, and…show more content…
The book’s main appeal and power is the author's use of Estrella, who serves as the focal point of all the large issues. In one particular scene, we see Estrella playing with one a naked doll. Estrella asks the naked doll if she was okay and then shook the doll's head “No”. This conversation with the doll can be seen as the sense of denial that takes place in a child’s mind that is not allowed to openly express herself, her fears, her anxieties, and her hopes. She allows the doll to represent her honest feelings about the lifestyle of living she is placed in. She is a unique and interesting individual, who will not grow up to be knocked down by economic issues, difficult labor, and especially men.
She is being raised in a world where women are expected to suffer silently and to be at the mercy of their men. However, men were not expected to return this slave-like behavior for the women. This setting of the novel allows the reader to see exactly how treacherous life can be. This suffering is so present in Estrella’s family’s lives, yet she somehow is able to bring the family along no matter how difficult the situation may be. She is still trapped in between two very different worlds: "She tried to remember which side she was on and which side of the wire mesh she was safe in" (59). Her mother may be taken over by a world of suffering, but she is not so beaten that she cannot pass some of her fighting