The Godmother of All the Pretty Horses Essay

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The Godmother of All the Pretty Horses

In analysis of the character, Duena Alfonsa, in the novel All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy, facets of her character are clearly revealed. From her physical deformity to her feelings of her father keeping her exiled in her own country, seventy-two year old Alfonsa is filled with a lifetime of complex situations. Her character was consistent and motivational in wisdom and provided greatness in her role in the novel. She is a grandaunt and godmother of Alejandra, a young teenager still in school. The Duena, one could say, is the "Godfather" of the novel. She literally "goes to the mattresses" in protecting her grandniece from a man.

After seventy-two years of life, Alfonsa
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Alfonsa's deformity even affected her to the point of her "awaiting age and death" (McCarthy 234).

Alfonsa had strong convictions toward women being suppressed as she was growing up in a time before and after the Mexican revolutionary war. Her father sending her to Europe had made its contributions to her "revolutionary spirit." Women at that time lived their lives in the constant shadows of men. The women were consumed by family life, marriage, the Catholic church, and lived silently behind their dominant male counterparts. There were many inequalities women and other ethnic, economic, political, or religious minorities suffered under the regime of Porferio Diaz. Mexican women at that time knew they were essential in a number of ways and rose up becoming strong advocates for causes they believed in (Jandura 1). Alfonsa's character speaks of "Dictator Diaz" in a conversation with the main character by the name of John Grady (McCarthy 236).

On several occasions, Alfonsa touches on the subject of women's reputation and how valuable it is living in a Mexican society. With her intelligence and whit, she guides and guards her grandniece for her (Alejandra) future's sake. Alfonsa states in the novel about Alejandra, "She is much like me at that age and I seem at times to be struggling with my own past…I have no one to advise me, you see. Perhaps I
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