Under the Feet of Jesus

Adversity Shapes Morale in Under the Feet of Jesus 12th Grade

In the novel Under the Feet of Jesus, author Helena María Viramontes introduces the protagonist Estrella as a poor and uneducated girl. Estrella is a migrant, and therefore her teachers do not treat her well. Her inability to speak or write English deprives her of the necessary skills to make due in society. In the excerpt, society is a place where the values of morality, such as benevolence, are ignored by the majority and practiced by the few. Additionally, Viramontes contrasts positions of power throughout the excerpt to represent the ability to affect others through actions and words. Due to the fact that the excerpt takes place during the 20th century in the United States, tension between migrants and whites is high.

The third-person omniscient point-of-view that Viramontes employs allows the reader to understand the sentiments of multiple characters, thus creating a more personal connection to the excerpt. Viramontes reveals Estrella as a girl with an ardent passion to learn, but who is initially frustrated with the lack of information she receives from her teachers. With the help of a handyman named Perfecto Flores; however, Estrella is able to convert her negative emotions towards the lack of education she receives into...

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