AuthorDoran, Kristin J.
Committee ChairCompitello, Malcolm A.
MetadataShow full item record
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.
AbstractRenowned Spanish author, Ana Maria Matute, lived through the violent and uncertain years of the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) and the Franco dictatorship (1939-1975) that followed. Her writing is a reflection of the dysfunctional society that was left in the wake of decades of social upheaval and it serves as a greater metaphor for the national identity crisis Spain experienced in the 20th Century. The intent of this study is to demonstrate how trauma and memory influence individual and national identity formation in selected short stories by Matute. Little study has been done on the role of trauma and memory in this type of narrative despite the frequent presence of trauma in Spanish literature. Further, insufficient academic attention has been given to Matute's short fiction relative to her novels.The characters in Matute's short fiction are dominated by violent and antisocial behavior that results from living in severely fragmented environments where both physical and mental cruelty and the absence of the nuclear family are commonplace. Matute's characters that suffer from traumatic events frequently fail to recover their former identity and remain in posttraumatic states, inhibiting healthy personal development and involvement with others in society. The memory of traumatic events dominates their persona and the characters are unable to distinguish the past from the present, causing a crisis of identity. In addition, Matute's characters can rarely rely on the community at large or family for support; this further propels them into isolation and negatively impacts their sense of self. Although Matute's literature is fictional, one can infer the toll of the Civil War and the dictatorship on the Spanish nation and its identity.