The Moths

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Learning Lessons Through Death In the short story, “The Moths”, the narrator, a fourteen year old girl, assumes the responsibility of taking care of her cancerous and dying Abuelita. Her Abuelita is the only person who understands the narrator and the only person she feels she can turn to. After having followed man’s rules for so many years, Abuelita passes away. All the moths that lived inside her are freed and the narrator learns some life lessons. Helena Maria Viramontes uses symbolism and setting to illustrate the oppression of women in “The Moths.” Viramontes uses symbols as a way of illustrating the oppression women feel to the narrator. The sun, the moths, and the bird of paradise are symbols to represent aspects of life to the…show more content…
The narrator saw it as a boring and dusty place. She observes, “ The tomatoes were always soft and the cans of Campbell soup had rusted spots. There was dust on top of the cereal boxes (Viramontes 1329).” The church was also a place the narrator didn’t feel welcome. Her family was fairly religious though the narrator herself saw no point in going to the chapel: “ I had forgotten the vastness of these places, the coolness of the marble pillars and the frozen statues with blank eyes. I was alone. I knew why I had never returned (Viramontes 1329).” The narrator felt no warmth or comfort in going to church. It was a cold empty place for her. The author used women’s oppression to write stories like, “The Moths.” The narrator learns that a person can follow the rules and still not be smothered by traditions and rules. Her Abuelita was an example to her. Through symbolism and setting, the author was able to depict women’s oppression by their societal
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