Malinche was a girl who was forced into a lifestyle of a slave and later on a translator. She didn’t have a say in whether or not she could be a translator for Cortes but she did have a choice to cooperate. Malinche turned into a traitor when she realized she could stop the killing and enslavement of the Aztecs but did not. A traitor is, “A person who betrays a friend, country, principle, etc.”
Cortes decided to move on and slaughter the inhabitants of Cholula, Malinche knew his plans and on pg. 92 it was told, “Malinalli wished she could have relied on the lightness of butterflies that migrated on time, flown through the high skies, far above the clouds, where she would not have to hear the weeping and lamenting, where you could not distinguish the mutilated corpses, the rivers of blood, the smell of death.” This is where she starts to realize what Cortes is doing and starts connecting the pieces that she is part of his conquest. His conquest which consisted of killing and suffering. Im sure this is something she knows is wrong and the fact that it should not be happening.
Later in the book she has a nightmare about the massacre of the Great Temple. In her dream and after she awakens she analyzes what it means. On page 137 it’s described as, “Malinalli’s heartbeat grew faster as sarrow ran through her veins. To calm herself, she closed her eyes and tried to think of nothing. She did not want to see the sign of calamity.” They key word here is “sorrow” and the key phrase is“tried to think of nothing”. Both of these have a direct correlation with emotion. Sorrow is more of a feeling caused by deep distress. When you try to think of nothing it’s usually because you don’t want to think of something. This something is usually something agonizing or distressful. Unconsciously in her mind and in her heart she recognized how much pain and agony actually went on in this event. At this point she knows that Cortes is uncaring and brutal to innocent people.
Reading this text I was actually in awe of how supportive some evidence was to categorizes Malinche as a traitor. She clearly states the fact that she is one of the causes of so much destruction and pain. “The tongue was the cause of everything. Malinalli had destroyed Montezuma’s empire with her tongue. Thanks to her words, Cortes had made allies that ensured his conquest.” (pg. 158). If this doesn’t say it than I don’t know what does. She was the tongue. She was the make it or break it factor in this portion of history. She understood that she was a necessary factor to what happened to the people in the Americas.
The definition of betrayal is, “To expose to danger by treacherously giving information to an enemy.” This was her whole purpose. Even at time not giving but enabling Cortes and the spanish to have it. Betrayal is in the definition of traitor and betray is exactly what she did. She was forced to be someone and something she didn’t want to be. She was forced to be a part of something gruesome and destructful but she didn’t have to force others to be a part of it.