At the same time, the residents of Alto do not see any major issues with what is happening. In the case of Zenzinho, a child who survived after the author rescued him and returned him to his mother, he seemed unaffected. There is an understanding that the harsh environment makes it very difficult for single mothers. Zezinho credits his mother as his best friend, even as she abandoned him as a child to die., which only affirms this thought. If a child is tagged as one that won’t survive, the mother seems to accept the child’s fate. The societal factors, like the healers and midwives assuring they are fine in doing this. The child ceases to exist while alive, and becomes a little angel even though it has a chance. When a woman averages 9.5 pregnancies, like the women in Alto do Cruzeiro, it must truly be easier to buy into these notions. It would drive any person mad to have so many of their children die and believe that they are fully accountable for each death.
Perhaps it is our comfortable living conditions that make this seemingly crazy. In such difficult living conditions, it makes it hard for anybody to survive. The residents of Alto are just trying to keep themselves from breaking down, which is sometimes all a person can do.
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- Spring '16
- Alto, child deaths