Latin American women writers and the growing potential of political consciousness.
AuthorShea, Maureen Elizabeth.
KeywordsSpanish American fiction -- Women authors -- History and criticism.
Spanish American fiction -- 20th century -- History and criticism.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis dissertation provides a feminist reading of the works of Latin American women writers since the decade of the sixties to the present who focus on the particular historical moment of their times from a political perspective. A systematic study of the narrative figure in novels by Dora Alonso, Elena Poniatowska, Claribel Alegria and Darwin Flakoll, and Isabel Allende, reveals an awareness of the undercurrents of oppression existent in their societies based on racial and class stereotypes with a growing understanding of oppression based on sex. From the perspective of the female narrator in Tierra Inerme by the Cuban writer Dora Alonso, the Cuban social structure before 1959 is condemned for its inequality on the basis of class, race, and sex. However, the perspective of the narrator reveals that she has not entirely escaped the prejudices that permeate her society concerning women. Hasta no verte Jesus mio, by the Mexican writer Elena Poniatowska concentrates on the testimony of Jesusa Palancares who condemns the structural inequality existent in Mexican society. Although Palancares' perspective reveals an awareness of the unequal treatment of women, because of her underprivileged status she concentrates on oppression based on class. In Cenizas de Izalco by Darwin Flakoll from the United States and the Salvadoran Claribel Alegria, the 1931 massacre of the peasants in El Salvador is condemned. However, through the contrasting perspectives of the male and female narrators, oppression on the basis of sex is most emphasized. La casa de los espiritus by the Chilean Isabel Allende depicts brutal class, racial and sexual oppression in Chile from the 1920's to 1973. It is in this novel that sexual oppression is portrayed most vividly, again through the contrasting perspectives of the male and female narrators. Although a growing awareness of sexual oppression emerges in the novels studied becoming most emphatic in this decade through an awakening feminist consciousness, the perspective of the narrators emphasize to varying degrees the importance of solidarity among women to combat injustice of every form to achieve a more equitable existence for all oppressed people.
Degree ProgramSpanish and Portuguese