Study Guide

The Moths Family

By Helena Maria Viramontes

Family

The family in "The Moths" puts the fun in dysfunctional. These people insult, hit, threaten, and accuse one another—well, within the narrator's immediate family that is. Her relationship with Abuelita is totally different. Whereas her own house is full of screaming and hollering, Abuelita's house is a refuge, a safe haven in which the narrator can be accepted for who she is and encouraged to become a better version of herself. When it comes to the narrator's family, it seems she truly can't live with them or without them.

Questions About Family

  1. The narrator says she's not her grandmother's favorite granddaughter. Do you believe her? Why or why not?
  2. Why do you think the narrator is so different from her sisters? Is she really? Why or why not?
  3. Why does the father blame the mother when the narrator rebels?
  4. Why doesn't the narrator's mother take care of Abuelita, her own mother? Why is it left to the narrator to do it?

Chew on This

In this story, ultimately family is a source of more pain than good.

In this story, family is a mixed bag—it argues that we need to take the good with the bad.

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