Although most critics of Under the Feet of Jesus have studied the political and social implications of Helena Maria Viramontes's depiction of piscadores, this article argues that the novel's rich use of symbolism depicts the protagonist's maturation through her mastery of semiotics. In learning how to assign meaning to physical and linguistic symbols, Estrella learns how to define and claim her own inscape, her subjective consciousness. Through the central symbols of the novel-the barn, the La Brea Tar Pits, owls/flying creatures, Jesus, and fire-Estrella explores the complex notion of human freedom inside a system of marginalization.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Literature and Literary Theory