Clarice Lispector Chicken

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“A Chicken” is a short story written by Clarice Lispector that has an animal as its protagonist as opposed to a human being. The chicken is seen as nothing else but a meal for the family to consume. However, this changes once she unexpectedly becomes a mother. After being recaptured, the chicken lays an egg in the middle of the kitchen floor. It is at this moment that fate of the chicken, of becoming a meal, is changed. The chicken is no longer simply viewed as food and is instead seen as someone or something that cares about the family due to her new role as a mother. This is depicted through the words of the daughter as she states, “Mama, Mama, don’t kill the chicken anymore, she laid an egg! She cares about us!” (129). Thus, it can be interpreted …show more content…

As a result, the chicken’s life was spared because of her fertility, causing the family to see her worth. However, the chicken can also be depicted as an allegory to the social obligations placed on women. This is because a woman is seen as someone who is able to expand a family or create one due to their fertility. As a result, those who are able to create life are often praised no matter what species they may belong to. This behavior is even exerted onto the chicken as the narrator states, “The chicken had become the queen of the house” (129). The chicken has become something that the family not only praises, but also honors as depicted with the use of the word “queen”. This allows the reader to understand that the chicken is now seen as royalty as she has become an asset to the family. However, this quickly changes once the family realizes that her eggs are infertile and so they decide to kill her as illustrated when the author writes, “Until one day they killed her, ate her and years went by” (130). After the eggs prove to be infertile, the chicken is no longer viewed as a benefit to the family and so she is killed and

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