Book Review for “Song of the Hummingbird”

The first part is a review of the song of the Humming bird in terms of reasons why the author wrote that book. The questions about the book are discussed as well as a personal opinion.

Book review

The purpose of this book is to bring out the story of the Mexican people before the invasion by the Spaniards. Spaniards wrote the existing literature, and there lacked a literature with focus on the perspective of the native Mexicans and how they felt about the invasion of the Spaniards into their ancestral land.

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The author uncovers major themes in this work and the first theme is that of religion and its role in the society. He shows how it had influenced life of the Latino’s and how it meant for this people. In addition, the historical theme comes out clear in narrating the life of the Mexicans before the invasion of the Spaniards. The other theme in this book is change and how it affected people. The period of this episode ranges from 1500 BC to around 1590 BC. These events seem to have taken place in the current city of Mexico.

The author is bringing out the perspective that missed out in the earlier literature on the conquest of the Mexico by the Spaniards. There is discussion of how the natives felt during that time, effects of the conquest, and its effect on women. The author sympathizes with the Mexican women and seems to describe those events from a woman’s point of view that makes the book emotional.

Summation of Content

The book began by Father Benito, the new father in the Monastery from Spain who came to Mexico as a missionary to further advance the gospel. The first encounter, which he had, was with Huitzitzlin or the Humming bird as her name meant.

The story is a narration of her encounters in life as a young girl who was born in a noble family and the kind of life she had. The author shows that the indigenous people were like the Spaniards, something that Father Benito acknowledges as the woman seeks forgiveness of her sins. The humming bird narrates of how she got married to a man she disliked and the author uses this issue to show how the traditional marriages were like and how they differed with those of the Spaniards.

The author talks about the values that existed in those days and that virginity was significant to the Mexican men as well as the Spaniards. After her marriage, it did not take long before the Spaniards arrived. At first, the Mexicans thought that they were gods but eventually realized that they were mortals like them. This made them to have resistance against the Spaniards. However, Huitzitzlin explained that all along they knew it would happen, as there were bad omen, which showed that the next generation would not last.

The author uses this chance to explain the seasons, times observed by the indigenous people, religious rites they performed and the kind of gods they worshipped. After the invasion of the Spaniards, the Hummingbird tells of how she witnessed the death of Montezuma the great Mexican King and other kings who succeeded him.

After death of the king and destruction of the native city, her life changed drastically from that of nobility to a beggar. She narrates how she scavenged for the leftovers in the street, stayed hungry for many days and her child died during this trying time.

She luckily encountered Baltazar the Spaniard she had known earlier who accommodated him but left her with two kids after battles separated them until they met again.

This time she was more of a servant than a wife to Orland. Since Baltazar could not have children with his Spaniard wife, he takes away Huitzitzilin’s children to Spain that creates a huge resentment for him. Huitzitzlin plans to avenge for the separation of her children because of anger.

She does this craftily and the result is the death of Baltazar. Though she asks for forgiveness from the priest, it raises the question of the role of religion in the conversion of the indigenous people. The story concludes with her return to the native land where she resided before her encounter with the priest and the eventual death.

Coherence of Analysis

The author shows the life of the Mexican people before the invasion and that unlike the previous depiction earlier that the Mexicans were different from the Spaniards the author concludes that they were no different. The situation where Huitzitzlin aborted her unborn child was the only option to hide her pregnancy. The author then leaves rhetoric of what is more important the life of the unborn child or that life of the mother.

The author brings out an aspect of beauty of the destroyed city, its art and magnificence. The author laments the destruction of historical wealth and cultural artifacts. The other conclusion that the author reaches at is the unspoken role, which women played in the struggle against the Spanish invasion.

Tale of how they went without food to ensure there were supplies for their armies are indeed inspiring. The author then brings out the conclusion that the beliefs of the ancient Mexicans and those of the modern society are not different. The gods who existed were the gods of good and evil similar to those of Jesus and Satan. The major conclusion, which is interesting, is in the last chapter show good triumphs over evil and that may have been the reason why the Mexicans were defeated.

The author’s conclusions are of importance because they show the perspective of the indigenous Mexicans and their feelings towards the invasion and the kind of disruptions it came with. Her conclusions are of interest as they depict the suppressed feelings of the beauty and the magnificence of the culture destroyed in the early days and what made it beautiful.

Contribution to Knowledge

This work is indeed tremendous especially in its depiction of the culture of indigenous Indians who lived in Mexico. Their marriages, their belief systems, and the pain they underwent because of the invasion are explained. This work is good for anyone who wishes to have better understanding of the Latin America and the history of Mexico.

Works Cited

Limon, Graciela. Song of the Humming Bird. Texas: Arte Public Press, 1996. Print