Essay about Under The Feet Of Jesus By Gloria Anzaldua

Essay about Under The Feet Of Jesus By Gloria Anzaldua

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In the United States, the hierarchical system that dominates the social landscape has created a pool of power for those who sit at the top of the social ladder. This system has power trickling down from the top to those at the bottom: those who work hard and get recognized the least. This creates a conflict between the oppressed and the oppressor, and eventually those who are oppressed use those drops of power to fight for their basic human rights. In an excerpt from Gloria Anzaldúa’s book Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza, Anzaldúa explains the complications of oppressed people developing counterstances with their oppressors. In Helena Maria Viramontes novel Under the Feet of Jesus, Viramontes develops a female character named Estrella that struggles with the social conditions set for her by society. Through Estrella, Viramontes indirectly supports the counterstance argument established by Anzaldúa and shows how a counterstance creates an opportunity for social reform, but why the counterstance should not be the main strategy.
A passage from Borderlands/La Frontera explains that “a counterstance locks one into a duel of oppressor and oppressed…it is not a way of life.” (pg. 100). In social movements, the counterstances can be seen as the violent retaliations of an oppressed group of people, such as the Los Angeles riots in 1992 and the Ferguson lootings which occurred recently. These riots are not a spontaneous act of rebellion, but instead are developed from concentrated amounts of stress and inability to create a strong enough voice with political merit. Estrella is a character that develops around the stress of social inequality. Her lifestyle is not standard of “normal American” children where education takes preceden...

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... frame. Some civil rights leaders, such as Cesar Chavez and Malcolm X, gathered the droplets left at the bottom of the ladder, and through the masses, brought in a wave of change. However, few took those droplets and used those drops to only ripple the bigger bodies. This is the difference between choosing to be in a counterstance with society’s oppressors and choosing to act towards cultural liberation. While social reform can happen, standing on opposite ends of the social spectrum and retaliating against each other will only increase the social mistreatment and neglect. However, similar to how Estrella developed through a counterstance and become a beacon of hope, members of society should become conscious of their social position and determine a non-violent method towards creating a society where each individual is respected regardless of who that individual is.

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