The contemporary feminist Bildungsromanin Angeles Mastretta, Isabel Allende, and Lucha Corpi
AuthorAvendano, Nadia D.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractIn this dissertation I study three novels written by Latin American and Chicana female authors: Arrancame la vida by Mexican writer Angeles Mastretta; Hija de la fortuna by Chilean writer Isabel Allende; and Delia's Song by Chicana writer Lucha Corpi. These novels have been chosen because of one common characteristic they share: the development of the female protagonist and her quest for a non-patriarchal conscribed identity and her ultimate emancipation. In other words, these novels portray protagonists in search of autonomy and create fictional women who escape entrapment in the traditional female plot expectations. These three novels deal with the development of the protagonist. Though these novels do not fit nicely into the classic male model of the Bildungsroman, they are representative of a feminist version of the Bildungsroman, which is said to begin to emerge in the decade of the seventies among American, Latin American and Latina women writers. In the novels analyzed, the authors have attempted to subvert patriarchal power in an effort to liberate the repressed protagonist and also to deconstruct male constructed female myths. Thus, these contemporary feminist Bildungsromans aggressively challenge the falsely imposed dichotomies of gender codes while simultaneously creating alternative definitions of female identity, ones that are more ample and multi-faceted. The Bildungsroman becomes an apt genre for contemporary Latin American and Chicana women writers because it allows them to explore the complexity and multiple subjectivity of female identity. These three contemporary Bildungsromans subvert the traditional female and male genre because these protagonists are not halted in their development, rather they attain their goals and are able to construct their own identities. These novels present alternative destinies for the Latin American and Chicana protagonist.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Spanish and Portuguese