Study Guide

The Moths Appearances

By Helena Maria Viramontes

Appearances

Appearances can beā€¦ devastating. (You thought we were going to say deceiving, didn't you?) At least this is the case in "The Moths." In this short story, the narrator's appearance is the cause for most of her problems. She's the un-pretty sister in a family that places a premium on traditional femininity, and her sisters call her names based on her looks, which leads to some pretty nasty exchanges between the girls. For more on this, definitely check out the "Tools of Characterization" section, but in the meantime, read on to see appearances in action.

Questions About Appearances


  1. Do you think that the narrator's grandmother really reshaped her hands? Why or why not? And if not, what actually happens?
  2. How does the difference in the narrator's and her sisters' appearances reflect differences in their characters? Or does it?
  3. What do we learn about Abuelita from her appearance?

Chew on This

In this story, the characters' appearances reveal their true personalities.

In this story, the characters' appearances hide their true personalities.

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