Can Woman Play?: The Game of Power in Three Late Twentieth-Century Mexican Novels Public Deposited

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  • March 20, 2019
  • Bethea, Camille Lamarr
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Romance Studies
  • This dissertation studies how women with access to political and societal power navigate the rules of the game of patriarchal society as portrayed in three Mexican novels: Ángeles Mastretta’s Arráncame la vida (1985), Dorotea Leyva’s La familia vino del norte (1989), and Carlos Fuentes’ Los años con Laura Díaz (1999). Chapter one focuses on how the role of Mexican female protagonists has changed over the last two decades, possibly due to the influence of a new generation of female authors that are writing bright and capable women characters. In chapter two, I discuss what is meant by the rules of the game in the context of Mexican culture and establish a theoretical framework within which to examine how contemporary women challenge the conventional gender constructs. In the third chapter, I incorporate the theories of French philosopher Michel Foucault regarding power, knowledge, truth, and strategy. My basic thesis posits that as the female protagonists empower themselves with knowledge, they are liberated from the oppressive rules that limit their freedom. In chapter four, I introduce two other strategies of empowerment: the ways in which the women use language to have their voices heard, as well as the manner in which they create an alternate discourse, thereby freeing themselves from having to rigidly adhere to the dominant social scripts. In chapter five, the conclusion, I examine to what extent these women are able to become players in the game of society, revisit the strategies that they employ, and discuss how one may gage their success.
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  • In Copyright
  • Salgado, María Antonía
  • Open access

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