The Beginning to a New Life
In the short story, “The Moths”, the narrator, an unnamed fourteen year old girl, assumes the responsibility of taking care of her cancerous and dying Abuelita while she feels she has lost her own way. She is oftenly struggling to relate herself with her sisters, and is constantly distancing herself. Her Abuelita is the only person who understands the narrator and the only person she feels she can turn to. She has lived her whole life with this tough personality, but when the one person that understands her is gone she becomes defenseless, unprotected young girl. Helena Maria Viramontes shows these emotions that can all relate to death and how through death a person can change drastically.
The unnamed character tells about her carelessness and how she would go through “several whipping, an arm broken by a dare-jump off Tio Enrique’s toolshed, puberty, and her first lie” also “I wasn’t respectful either” (27). She even expresses the self-loathing of herself “I wasn’t even pretty or nice like my older sisters and I just couldn’t do the girl things they could” (27), she was the black sheep. She also had to deal with the bullying of her sisters “my sisters laughed and called me bull hands” (27) she eventually developed a style to defend herself no matter what and was starting to physically injured her sisters, but by her doing that came several whipping. I understand why this character would develop such a tough personality especially the way her own family treated her, but her Abuelita knew she was different.
The unnamed character is forced by her father to go to Abuelita’s. Her father responds with whippings and her mother simply sends her to Mama Luna’s to “avoid another fight and another whipping” (28). When she would be at her Abuelita’s house she would gladly go help out her Abuelita by “planting her wild lilies or jasmines or heliotrope or cilantro or hierbabuena in red Hills Brothers coffee cans” (28). Even though it did not...