Entering the Serpent

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The selection we read starting on page 62 of the “Ways of Reading” textbook, “Entering the Serpent” by Gloria Anzaldua, started out with a dangerous encounter between Prieta and a rattle snake. Prieta was out in the cotton fields chopping cotton with her mother when she heard the distinctive rattle. The snake lunged out at her and sank it’s fangs through her boots and into her flesh. Prieta's mother quickly came to the rescue swinging her hoe high over her head and then down onto the snake. When the snake was no longer a danger to Prieta or anyone else Prieta’s mother went back to work. Prieta knew exactly what to do having grown up among the snakes and she quickly went to work cutting ex.’s centered on the holes created by the fangs of the great sake and sucking the venom out.

The rest of the selection is based on the immunity that Prieta gained through her encounter with the serpent. The second section of the selection titled, “Coatlalopeuh, She Who Has Dominion over Serpents” tells the reader about Coatlalopeuh, the serpent goddess. Coatlalopeuh is descended from earlier Mesoamerican fertility and Earth goddesses. The text refers to Coatlalopeuh as “La Virgen de Guadalupe’s”. Coatlalopeuh is the central deity connecting the followers of the folk Catholicism with they’re Indian ancestry. “La Virgen de Guadalupe’s” is considered the serpent. In the region where this story is located, the snake is a widely feared and widely respected being. The rest of the selection describes different views of “La Virgen de Guadalupe’s”.

The selection that we read was greatly influenced by the culture of the region that Gloria Anzaldua grew up in. Anzaldua defines herself as a lesbian, feminist, Chicana (a representative of the new mesitza). I feel that Anzaldua’s background makes the story more believable. The way that Anzaldua starts the selection provides the reader with some background of the lifestyles people from the southwest United States and northern...
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