The Fighter Bird By Mary Aparicio Casterjon

Improved Essays
In her essay “The Fighter Bird” Mary Aparicio Casterjon communicates her childhood experience during the holiday Noche Buena. Her family goes to pick out a turkey for Christmas dinner to appease her grandmother. At the meat market Aparicio Casterjon is disgusted with the revolting conditions the animals are kept in. Christmas dinner preparation repulses Aparicio Casterjon but she desires to gain her father and grandmothers approval and to do so she helps in the plucking of the feathers. In this essay, Aparicio Castrejon celebrates her family and culture for valuing familial ties and bringing people together, but she questions their violence and hierarchical structure.
The speaker demonstrates that there are strong familial ties by showing
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Aparicio tells of the violence from her cousins pointing at her because she got a bloody nose from the stench of the rastro: “all nine of my cousins laughed at me because they thought my bloody nose meant I was scared” (52). The actions from her cousins portrays a strong hostility in-between family members. She also demonstrates the amount of violence by her grandma taking interest in the biggest, meanest, turkey in the pen: “the stupid bird was in the middle of a fight with the second biggest bird in the pen” (52). Her grandmother demonstrates by wanting the biggest meanest bird that she is more satisfied with those things of violence, and that the more violent something is the more it has the right of approval. Because of this need for approval, her family will go to whatever length to achieve the meal with the turkey. Her father and five uncles fight the turkey in return receiving cuts (53) and bruises (53). When it comes time for the preparation of the turkey Aparicio depicts the killing of the bird quite violently by saying: “Wave your arms and jump up and down. Make it come over toward me,” says Tia Pera. I do and she catches the fighter bird by its neck as it runs by her the turkey’s neck looks like a twig between my Tia Pera’s strong thick hands. It breaks like one too” (53). Aparicio words paint a picture of the violent scene how the turkeys neck breaks like a twig and …show more content…
Aparicio’s father is the “first son in [the] family’ (52) and “has special responsibilities” (52) making her question why her father is so important to the hierarchy of the family. Papi, Aparicio’s father has lots of power with in the family which is clearly stated by Aparicio: “[Papi] eats first with Apa. He gets to church first. He cares for Ama when Apa is drunk and mean” (52). Aparicio looks up to her father and everything that he is involved in but at the same time iquires more about why Papi is so important. Without Papi it seems as though the family would be extremely dysfunctional. However, Aparicio comes to notice that even though Papi is high up in the hierarchy of the family Ama is still the one making decisions for the family. Papi has to “give her what she wants whenever she asks for it so that my papi can still be her son” (53). Aparicio develops a sense of discomfort throughout this quote by expressing the fact that Ama is a hard woman to please and since she is the top of the hierarchy structure if Ama is not please she may ban you from the family. Aparicio expresses the feeling that she doesn’t have her grandmother’s approval because she is not the first and the bravest like her father when she says “Ama is waiting for me to get sick and run into the house” (53). Aparicio knows that her grandmother Ama expects the worst from Aparicio and

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