Name[ edit ] Malinche is known by many names. The probanza of her grandson also mentioned Olutla as her birthplace. Malinche was one of the women presented to the Spaniards. There, Malinche asked for Nahuatl interpreters. Later Tlaxcalan records of this meeting feature scenes where Malinche appears prominent, bridging the communication between the two sides as the Tlaxcalans presented the Spaniards with gifts of food and noblewomen to cement the alliance.
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Start your review of Malinche Write a review Shelves: hispanic-culture , magical-realism , romance , mythology This year I am participating in a classics bingo and I read Malinche by Laura Esquivel for my mythology square. I am not a fan of mythology and this story pushed me to read outside of my comfort zone.
Even though I enjoy Hispanic culture a great deal, Mexican mythology is not a subject I have studied in depth so I was able to learn from this slim novel. Malinalli was brought up by her paternal grandmother after her father was offered as a human sacrifice to the Aztec g-ds.
Even as a child, Malinalli possessed a high level of understanding, believing in the cruelty of sacrifice, desiring to put an end to the practice. As she heard of the Spanish arrival on Mexican soil, she lauded them solely because their g-ds did not require humans to be sacrificed. As she learned from the Spanish, their g-d sacrificed himself for his people rather than having people sacrificed. Becoming a slave to the Spaniards, Malinalli felt honored to be in their presence.
While the first half of the novel showed plot development, the second half was as much about Malinalli translating for the Spaniards as it was about the Spaniards conquests of the "girl woman". As I try to avoid books with an excess of erotica, it was difficult for me to read about the Mexican myth of Quetzalcoatl while having to read through intimate scenes. This did little to further what I already knew about Aztec culture. During March I have only read women authors. Malinche concludes my month.
While I have enjoyed most of the novels and stories that I read, it is upsetting to finish the month on a down note. The lust and love triangles worked in a modern setting, yet seemed out of place in a mythological folk tale.
It is common knowledge that the Spanish conquistadors raped native women, but Esquivel sugar coats this by stating that Malinalli enjoyed her intimacy with multiple partners. As a result, the book became distasteful for me. As a lifelong student of Hispanic culture, I enjoy furthering my knowledge of it. Malinche retells a myth in a manner that might win readers looking for more entertainment than the facts behind the folktale. As a woman in history, Malinalli was courageous to help the Spaniards yet also brought about the downfall of her people.