Title page for ETD etd-04142010-170734

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Schneider, Julia Maria
Author's Email Address jumsch@gmail.com
URN etd-04142010-170734
Title Recreating the Image of Women in Mexico: A Genealogy of Resistance in Mexican Narrative Set during the Revolution
Degree Master of Arts (M.A.)
Department Foreign Languages & Literatures
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Morris, Andrea E. Committee Chair
Martins, Laura M. Committee Member
Parker, Margaret R. Committee Member
  • Laura Esquivel
  • Elena Poniatowska
  • patriarchy
  • women's literature
  • women
  • resistance
  • gender
  • Mexican Revolution
  • Mexico
  • genealogy
Date of Defense 2010-04-01
Availability unrestricted
Traditionally, women have been relegated to the margins of society, history, and culture in male-dominated environments. Patriarchal systems have long denied women to play an appropriate role in nation building and to enter the public sphere, as is the case in Mexico. The female participation during one of the country’s most critical periods, the Mexican Revolution, has largely been ignored. Through situating their narratives into the context of the Revolution and describing the obstacles and limiting conditions that women experience, Mexican writers such as Elena Poniatowska and Laura Esquivel criticize the status quo of social and gender politics in Mexico and attempt to re-inscribe the female experience into the nation’s history.

In this thesis, I use Alison Stone’s approach of feminist genealogy to examine women’s resistance in Hasta no verte Jesús mío by Elena Poniatowska and Como agua para chocolate by Laura Esquivel. For this purpose, I examine the specific representations of feminine identity and analyze the similarities and differences between the women writers’ and protagonists’ modes of resistance both on intra- and extra-textual levels while taking into account the different contexts and settings in which female resistance against patriarchal oppression occurs. The investigation reveals the various overlaps of the resistance strategies that the women apply regardless of time and place. Furthermore, understanding their resistance in a genealogical context allows them to establish connections with each other in order to provide mutual support in a patriarchal environment. The analysis also shows that the feminist genealogical approach is useful for women in Mexico and Latin America in general as it helps them to perceive themselves as a coalitional group despite any social, cultural, and political differences and is therefore a constructive way of putting forth the women’s movement in the region.

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