Cuerpos Cabales: Chicana Embodyment in Helena María Viramontes’ Narrative
This article offers a feminist analysis of the representation of the Chicana body in Helena María Viramontes’s novel Under the Feet of Jesus and in her short stories. In Viramontes’ literary sketches, the Chicana body becomes a unique representation of socio-economic conditions in which breasts reflect particular realities, hands signify power struggles, and feet reveal soul, freedom, and belonging. While seemingly gratuitous, the detailed description of characters’ body parts in Viramontes’s work is political in nature. Through them she sculpts fleshed out Chicanas who are not presented as neither victims nor stereotypes but rather stand as the embodyment of a complex Chicana subjectivity.