Woman as victim in the Spanish American naturalist novel, 1889-1919 Public Deposited

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  • March 22, 2019
Creator
  • Shade, Jessica
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Romance Studies
Abstract
  • This dissertation sets out to analyze a representative group of Spanish American naturalist novels that feature a central preoccupation with women and their social situation. My corpus includes Chilean Augusto D'Halmar's Juana Lucero (1902), Mexican Federico Gamboa's Santa (1903), Argentine Manuel Gálvez's Nacha Regules (1919), Gaucha (1899) and Beba (1894) by Uruguayans Javier de Viana and Carlos Reyles, respectively, and Blanca Sol (1889) and Herencia (1895) by Peruvians Mercedes Cabello de Carbonera and Clorinda Matto de Turner, respectively. My contention is that the main female characters in these novels, whether prostitutes, virtuous women, or adolescents, become the targets of victimization that stems from the values of the patriarchal society that dominates their lives. Their status as victim is above all driven by gender and oftentimes leads to a mental, emotional, or physical elimination from mainstream society. The repression of women takes many different forms and oftentimes is an important contributing factor to their downfall, the end result frequently being death, suicide, prostitution, violence, and/or other forms of degradation. While discussing the situations of the women, I bring into play, when appropriate, the question of space. I analyze the representation of the spaces, whether repressive or liberating, traversed by the female characters. I devote a separate chapter to each of these discussions: Sinful Spaces, which focuses on prostitution; Spaces of Contamination, in which I analyze the connection between illness and women; Spaces of Victimization, which discusses violence against women; and Marriage as a Victimizing Space. It is my hope to extend through this study the existing scholarly interest in the victimization of woman in European and other literatures by including the Spanish American narrative, and to offer a coherent and thorough analysis of the woman as victim in the naturalist novel of that region.
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Advisor
  • Perelmuter, Rosa
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