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Psychological Analysis on the Story "The Moths"

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Motif Development in “The Moths” by Helena Maria Viramontes When you are internally consumed by animosity, they become separated and it takes an extreme function such as a superb loss to regain inner peace. A new teen in the story “The Moths” may be the outcast in her family. She isn’t girly or dainty such as the rest of her sisters. The narrator generally feels only, even in church.

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The short story "the moths" was written by Helena Maria Viramontes. The story looks into the struggles and challenges that women have to contend with to overcome the isolation brought by culture, church and family especially the struggle to stay true to their cultural values. Two women play the central roles: an older woman, Abuelita, and her granddaughter. The story's focus is on the various challenges through life: from childhood, through adulthood and the inevitable challenges of aging and old age that precede death and subsequent rebirth. Especially, the story appreciates the spiritual maturity the grandchild undergoes while staying with her grandmother. The author also presents the strengths and the challenges of traditional and modern culture and illustrates the conflict that results from the interaction of the two cultures. The literary point of view refers who is, or from what angle the story is being told. It is the perspective of the narrative voice. The point of view fundamentally affects how the story is told and will determine how interesting or disinteresting the story will be.

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In every society, poverty has an effect on racial and ethnic minorities. In developed countries such as the UK and the US, racism is the leading cause of poverty among the minority groups. As such, racism bars the minority groups from accessing equal opportunities as the majority group does (Kinney, 1985). During the slavery era, the minority groups were not allowed to have access to all opportunities as the whites did. In The Moths, Viramontes illustrates how racial prejudice, social oppression of the Chicanos has affected the affected the levels of poverty of her two major characters. The two characters are a young girl named Naomi and her aging grandmother. In the same book, Viramontes focuses on other short stories about young women. Through this, she illustrates how women struggle to overcome cultural and family norms in the American society (Cott, 1994).

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Briefly, in the short story “The Moths” by Helena Maria Viramontes, the author uses symbolism and characterization to paint the scene of a girl in a literary fiction that has lost her way and ends up finding herself within her Grandmother through the cycles of life. Through the eyes of an unnamed girl we relive a past that has both a traumatic ending and a new leash on life; however, we do not get there without first being shown the way “The Moths”. The author utilizes opposite ends of the light spectrum to signify beginnings and endings by painting a vivid picture for the reader.

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Cott, N. F. (1994). History of women in the United States: historical articles on women’s lives and activities. Munich: K.G.Saur.

Kinney, J. (1985). Amalgamation!: race, sex, and rhetoric in the nineteenth-century American novel. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press.

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Psychological Analysis on the Story "The Moths"
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