Theme Development in “The Moths” by Helena Maria Viramontes When one is internally consumed by resentment, they become isolated and it takes an extreme event such as a great loss to regain inner peace. A young teen in the story “The Moths” is the outcast in her family. She isn’t girly or dainty like the rest of her sisters. The narrator almost always feels alone, even at church.
The only person that can make her feel safe is her grandmother. At first the young teen represents immaturity. Hitting her sisters with a brick when she gets angry shows how strong her resentment is and how the way she deals with it is immature. She resents the fact that she is different and her sisters make fun of her.
It is apparent that she isolates her self from her immediate family because she always stays with her grandma. The author expresses the theme by showing how the young teen feels the exact opposite with her grandma to the way she feels around her family. The girl connects with her grandma. The grandma represents great loss. She represents great loss because the grandma was the only person that gave her a sense of hope. The grandma must die so the girl can let go of her resentment and rebirth her new accepting self.
When the girl says her grandmother watching her makes her feel “how god is supposed to make you feel”, she is implying that god doesn’t give her that safe, comfortable welcoming feeling. The author is trying to show the reader here that she finds god through her grandmother. God isn’t found in just a church for everyone, he can be found in other places too. God can be found wherever one experiences his comfort. The extreme event in the text was not only losing her grandmother but also finally feeling safe and reassured directly from god after she was gone.
The way the young girl transformed from being immature to having to face death and being a mature care-giver relates to the way her grandma transformed from death to afterlife. When the moths leave the grandmothers body, it not only represents the grandmother being put out of her misery but also the girl’s resentments being lifted. When her grandmother passes, the teen finds inner peace in her self.
The teen then wants to reconnect with her mother. She no longer feels like an outcast. Instead she wishes for her mother to be with her. It is important to pay attention to the theme in the text because it shows what the character had to go through in order to achieve happiness. The author was trying to get across that the only way the girl could let go of all her resentment was if she lost the thing that soaked it all up for her, her whole life. By losing her grandmother the girl found herself.
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