I can only imagine how controversial Brunet’s story must have been when it was written. The slightest notion that Eufrasia, an old woman could undermine Bernabe, the father and rightful ‘master’ of the household, and successfully seize control of his children, brings about a multitude of social issues regarding gender and class.
One must realize that this most likely would not have occurred at that time period. It is possible that the mother could even be viewed as some sort of twisted heroin, rather than the father as I previously mentioned, because she was capable of dominating the family in a paternal society. Even murdering Bernabe could be considered a victory for women, because this reflects exactly what we discussed in class, where Bernabe and Eufrasia were pitted against each other in a battle of survival of the fittest.
Darwin, no doubt, would have agreed with the events of this story, had the characters been replaced with insects. It is a completely natural occurrence, where the mother praying mantis devours the father in order to protect the young. However, it is somewhat unlikely that Darwin, and other men from a male dominated society, would accept the fact that Bernabe was essentially ‘devoured’ by Mother Eufrasia.