She Got it From Her Mama

One of the most interesting things that sets Signs Preceding the End of the World apart from other hero’s journeys that the hero in this journey is a young girl. Though there are not a ton of other examples of other young, female heroes, Makina still has found many ways to distinguish herself from them. From the very beginning Makina is shown to be very intelligent, courageous, independent, but realistic. Makina has fears, weaknesses, and insecurities like everyone else while still overall maintaining an impressive amount of maturity and level-headness. Examination of Makina’s character can go on and on; she is pretty magnificent. Though, I like to think that it’s not just because of the way the stars were aligned when she was born, Makina is like this solely because of her mother.

“I don’t like to send you, child, but who else can I trust it to, a man?” (Herrera, 12)

Our first view of Cora is her sending her daughter off to cross the border. A pretty bleak beginning for someone who I hail as an amazing mother. In reality, the only reason Cora is sending her daughter on this journey is because she knows Makina is the only one suitable for the job. If this is a journey created by Cora, with strings pulled by Cora, and everything set up by Cora, why would she send her daughter to do it rather than go herself?

“…but Makina took no notice and instead asked Cora what the deal was, what that was all about, and Cora said It’s nothing, just Aitch up to his tricks.” (Herrera, 29)

She knows her daughter has grown up to be just as mature and capable as she is. Makina is the only one she trusts to send on this journey because she knows Makina will not get caught up in anything other than what she has been sent to do. I believe that the moment that Makina choose to ignore Mr. Aitch and stay, while her brother left is the moment where Cora knew that Makina would have to be the one to go retrieve her brother. Makina would not get distracted by anything promised to her in America; she would just focus on what Cora had told her. It seems almost like Cora is reliant on Makina’s obedience, but I actually see it as she knows she has raised her daughter to be able to make the right decisions during challenging times.


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