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The Hungry Woman

Cherrie Moraga comes from a Latino background, her mother being half-Mexican and her father being American. Growing up as Chicana, a Mexican and American woman, she personally struggled with being able to her mixed identity. Her search to find her queer identity, the Chicano Movement, racial ethnicity discrimination, and her feministic approach shaped the culture she portrays her in her play, The Hungry Woman.

The play takes place in the post-apocalyptic Aztlan. The Aztec people were historically known to have resided in this area being between the American and Mexican border, being home to several different tribes among its inhabitants that were racially segregated. In the Hungry Woman, Medea was exiled for her bisexual identity and was forced to move to the borderlands when she leaves her husband for another woman. Luna, Medea’s lover, builds a strong relationship with Chac-Mool, giving him insight on all aspects of Hispanic culture. Due to Jason’s high standing importance in Aztlan, he wanted to divorce Medea, remarry, and to bring Chac-Mool back to Aztlan, away from his bisexual mother. Medea’s requested divorce from Jason and her exile from her homeland, Aztlan, affects her emotional stability and her relationship with Luna that goes against social norms. The two women in the play, Medea and Luna, show their struggle to live in the world being homosexual.

Homosexuality was not accepted, making live the horrors of suppressed and isolation by society. Medea feels the rejection while Luna tries to comfort her and give her rational advice in accepting who she is. Moraga depicts the power that white men had in society in her writing based on her background in the 1960s and 1970s, a time of political and civil crisis especially affecting the lack of civil rights granted to women. Medea has informed her son of the many injustices that men, especially his father, have imparted on woman in society. She strives to make sure her son will not turn into a man like Jason. In accordance to Euripides’ Greek tragedy, Medea, Moraga’s Medea kills her son to preserve his purity from male intervention and prevent him from betraying the morals she has taught him about patriarchy. Consequently, she gets sent to the asylum for her murderous action where her son’s ghost grants her with security.

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