Song of a Hummingbird by Graciela Limon. Chicano Studies novel. Summary and ideas of the book and it's relation to the Day of the Dead

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Song of a Hummingbird:

A Battle of Consciousness

Tomorrow we celebrate the Day of the Dead--a ceremony where a society pays homage to those who have passed, and planted their seeds in the lives of others. Our ancestors influence us and the lessons they have passed down throughout generations; however, not all lessons were the same. All were influenced by their time period and personal sense of morality. That influence was then conveyed to their child--or whoever was willing to listen. These stories are what provided us with culture.

It is obvious that what may be wrong to me maybe seen as appropriate in the eyes of another. However, we live in a world where many of us have come to accept people's differences in cultures, morals, and ideologies. These differences are what make us a more educated society. Although we may not believe the ideas of another, we have been taught to respect others for who they are. Graciela Limón's Song of a Hummingbird focuses on the idea of morality between two different cultures. The readers, along with the characters in the novel, are forced to look at the world of the early Mexicas; and with this, the decision of morality is left up to the reader.

The central conflict in the novel is Father Benito Lara's inner struggle with his beliefs and his heart. Father Benito has been assigned as the new confessor to Coyoacán and has been asked by Huitzitzilin to absolve her of her sins. Huitzitzilin is an elderly Mexica woman that has seen the history of her country change. She proves to be a great asset to Father Benito as a resource for his chronicle. He listens to her story with great fervor--hoping to discover something that no one has documented.

As Huitzitzilin tells her story, Father Benito makes an effort to avoid certain rituals or information that has been forbidden by the church. He knows that having knowledge of some of that information can make his susceptible to the Inquisition. He is interested in finding out more information

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