The Hummingbird's Daughter

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Luis Alberto Urrea's, The Hummingbird's Daughter, accounts the life of Teresita, a bastard child whose independence guides her throughout her life. In the beginning of the novel, Teresa is unaware of her relation to Tomas Urrea. Tomas is depicted as a powerful patron, who was able to utilize women at his pleasure; meaning that he had children spread out in a small village in Mexico, where the novel takes place. Throughout this analysis the character of Teresita will be explained. Since Teresa's mother abandons her at a young age, she develops a relationship with the curandera, or healer; Huila. Huila teaches Teresa to be resistant to the temptations of men and their dominance over women. Teresa grows up with an empty sentiment towards life, as she views the violence and reality that she confronts; complicating her survival in a society of machismo and women inferiority. The concept of machismo is very popular in Mexican culture. The idea that the male is the dominate figure of the household. Women are supposed to stay home to cook and clean and care for the children. Throughout Mexican history, women have been viewed as the inferior gender. Urrea creates the character of Tomas to represent the concept of machismo. He is looked up to by many of the villagers and is noted to be the patron, or boss. Yet, throughout the novel it is evident that Tomas has no interest in being like the others with his constant rebellion and infidelity. He attempts to be religious yet never actually attends mass and remains unfaithful to his own wife, yet the villagers continue to instill trust in him. Huila’s role in Teresa’s life is enormous. Huila is the healer and ends up being a huge role model for Teresita. It is interesting that Cayetana, Teresita’s mother, originally named her a notable name of Maria Rebecca…. However, throughout the novel the reader is able to see the change in Teresita’s character and how she begins to embrace her new identity as a healer and more like Saint...
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