Gambling in the Mid-Nineteenth-Century Latin American Social Imaginary Public Deposited

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  • March 21, 2019
  • Clark, Emily
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Romance Studies
  • Economic themes appear in many nineteenth-century Latin American narratives, but the representation of gambling and other forms of speculative capitalist commerce, such as investment, trade, and mining, is a largely unexplored area of critical literary analysis. This dissertation examines the depiction of gambling and other games of chance, as well as financially-speculative endeavors, in eight texts from the mid-nineteenth century throughout Hispanic America, including José Joaquín Fernández de Lizardi’s El Periquillo Sarniento (1816), Eduardo Gutiérrez’s Juan Moreira (1879), Rosario Orrego’s Alberto el jugador (1860), Teresa González de Fanning’s Regina (1886), Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda’s Sab (1841), Alberto Blest Gana’s Martín Rivas (1862), José Ramón de Betancourt’s Una feria de la caridad en 183… (1841, 1858), and José Milla’s Los Nazarenos (1867). In the four chapters of the dissertation, I analyze four different perspectives on gambling and its repercussions in society as it applies to gender (Chapters 1 and 2), social class (Chapter 3), and the role of the citizen in post-independence Latin American nation states (Chapter 4). The fictional portrayal of the gambler and the description of gambling as either a positive or a negative activity for individuals, families, and the general populace tell the reader not only about game-playing and popular culture, but also about gambling’s deeper significance for writers of the nineteenth century with respect to their societies. By examining how gambling and social roles dialogue with one another, I conclude that focusing on the depiction of this chance-based activity allows us to confront several aspects of the social imaginary of the time: social inequalities, women’s participation and activism, class mobility through risky economic practices, and the construction of the citizen in nation-building narratives.
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  • In Copyright
  • del Valle Escalante, Emilio
  • Chasteen, John Charles
  • Perelmuter, Rosa
  • González Espitia, Juan Carlos
  • Gómez-Castellano, Irene
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2016

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