Week 3: The Colonial Experience (Lt Nun)

Catalina de Eraauso’s life story is something out of a storybook. Her exploits and travels in a time when women were subdued and controlled is what makes this story even more fascinating. To start off, the most extraordinary aspect of the story to me was the fact that her family gave her up to the convent at the age of four. Not only that, but they never seemed to visit her either because her father and brother never recognized her.

Another interesting facet of the story was that she just decided to up and leave one day without any planning or previous thought (to our knowledge). And even without any plan or idea where she wanted to go, she still made it out okay. She managed to survive and thrive in many different places without getting seriously hurt, instead, she was resourceful and determined to make a better life for herself. This improvisation and grit is something that is truly remarkable because it is almost unheard of in our day and age.

Additionally, another intriguing twist in her story was the amount of times she encounters family that she had never seen before. While working as a page to the King’s secretary, Juan de Idiaquez, she is met by her own father. Even though the father displays sadness in hearing his daughter had left the convent, she never makes any attempt to make contact with him. Interestingly enough, her father is not the only family member she meets on her interesting life journey. While making her way Chile, she is met by the Governor’s secretary and her brother, Miguel de Arauso. It is fascinating to see how many times she sees her own kin away from her hometown. The coincidences are uncanny because the chances of this happening are near impossible. Even more intriguing is that she is actually the one that ends her own brother’s life. However, it is even more puzzling to see how little remorse that Erauso has for killing her own brother.

Finally, the thing I enjoyed the most when reading this article was the fact that Catalina de Erausto did whatever she wanted to do. In doing so, she never seemed to have any regret or thought of what might go wrong, instead, was just focused on surviving and doing what was right. Living in a society that has certain standards and unwritten rules, a story like this is something that can seem almost unreal and made up.

~Austin Chang

One thought on “Week 3: The Colonial Experience (Lt Nun)

  1. I completely agree that Catalina’s memoir sounds like a storybook. I find it difficult to believe that she actually did all of the things she did. Especially the amount of times she runs into her family members.

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