Julie Apagya-Bonney
Malinche Malinchista {Malinalli} Marina Dona Marina

Malinalli was a sacrificial lamb of a woman draped in cloaks of misunderstanding. Malinalli was forced into a life of slavery by her mother (pg.26 ) “Her mother let go of her tiny grasping fingers, gave her away to her new masters, and turned away.” who wanted to create her son into a man of great wealth this is where Malinalli’s journey as a victim, traitor and survivor truly begin.

Though in order to get the full picture of Malinalli’s role as a traitor, survivor and victim you have to first start with her birth.(pg.5 ) Malinalli cheated what should have been her death and because of this, she is a traitor in the hands of death. My belief is that because of this her father died he was to pay with his life for his daughter who was not taken. She is a survivor because she was able to escape the grasp of death though narrowly but this is also the first time she is a victim. Malinalli isn’t even fully born when she faces her first trial and she was able to succeed that’s where you see her in all her rights as a victim, traitor and survivor.

Subsequently, Malinalli is made out to be the traitor. Malinalli becomes the tongue of Cortes as a young teen and having to speak to someone who has full control over you and your people you have to figure out what’s best for as many people as possible. Malinalli is instead faced with the trial of watching Montezuma fall done by her hand.(pg. 94 )”Malinalli had not yet finished translating these last words when the discharge of a harquebus signaled the beginning of slaughter.”. Malinalli also turns her back on her mother because of what was done to her. Malinalli begins on this transition of being lost and for a while, you see her as a traitor.

Malinalli ends ups under the hurtful grasp of victimhood. Her mother sends her away to live in a life of pain as a slave who is sold over and over again and the only thing she can work towards is gain favoritism under each of her new masters.(pg.26 ) Soon after she is raped by Cortes (pg.79 ) and can only be used when needed and made to feel like a toy used only when necessary. Malinalli is also impregnated by Cortes and forced to separate from her son. Malinalli is once again forced into a new form of ownership by Cortes. Malinalli is given to Jaramillo who loves her from behind the scenes and this is where she finds her first salvation(pg.79 & 157-158). “Later, Cortes and his retinue were witness at the wedding of Jaramillo and Malinalli.”

Through the long journey that Malinalli faces she finds two key moments of truly surviving. Malinalli is given away to Jaramillo who turns out to be a man who she can truly care for. (pg.184 )Malinalli creates a beautiful baby girl together with Jaramillo (pg.159 )”Malinalli was about to be a mother for the second time.” and she finally finds the life that she had always wanted since she was a small child playing in the mud with her grandmother. Last is her being able to let go of it all on pg. 185 Malinalli “, like Quetzalcoatl before her, on facing her dark side became aware of the light… Her spirit became one with the water. It scattered in the air.” Malinalli speaks about having a passionate night with her husband before heading to a cliff and finally letting it all go on her own terms. She has finally done away with all of the struggles that had held her back and instead looks to a new life.

Malinalli no matter what has happened first is a survivor. She was stripped away of her humanism and made into an object put away nice and neat when not needed and viciously yanked back to life whenever necessary. Malinalli was a young girl that lived every day the best she could with no means of freedom insight so the role of survivor strong and proud fits her to a T.







6 thoughts on “Malinalli

  1. From the beginning, I was hooked! I really like the first line: “Malinalli was a sacrificial lamb of a woman draped in cloaks of misunderstanding.” You include lots of textual evidence, which really back up your claims. I agree, Malinche is a survivor.


  2. I really enjoyed how you gave all sides of how people could see Malinalli but above all of them she was a survivor. The quotes that you used helped to back up your thinking and were helpful for your essay. I also like the pictures they represented could events nicely.


  3. I really like how you wrote about every perspective, victim, traitor and survivor. With all your evidence it made it easy to understand and it backed up your arguments. Even though I think she was a traitor.


  4. I really enjoyed how you listed the different names Malinalli was given. Your introduction did a really good job at captivating the reader and clearly stating what the argument of the essay is.


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