Female Mythologies in Contemporary Chicana Literature

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GRIN Verlag, 2007 - 132 pages
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Thesis (M.A.) from the year 2005 in the subject American Studies - Literature, grade: 1,0, Ernst Moritz Arndt University of Greifswald, 83 entries in the bibliography, language: English, comment: Diese Magisterarbeit stellt eine kritische Untersuchung weiblicher bzw. feministischer Mythologien und der damit eng zusammenhangenden Gender- und Identitatsproblematik in der zeitgenossischen Literatur der Chicanas, US-amerikanische Staatsburgerinnen mexikanischer Abstammung, dar. Die Arbeit selbst wurde auf Englisch verfasst, eine deutsche Zusammenfassung ist im Anhang zu finden., abstract: In Mexican-American/ Chicano culture, feminine archetypes from the Mexican tradition play an important role for woman's subjectivity. Traditionally, such archetypes epitomize Catholic-patriarchal constructions of womanhood. Idolized by the figures of the Virgin of Guadalupe, La Malinche, and La Llorona, the most prevailing representations of female sexuality and motherhood evolve around the passive virgin, the sinful seductress, and the traitorous mother. Along the lines of Chicana feminism, the traditional definitions of these feminine archetypes can be seen as promoting an image of woman that is detrimental to female subjectivity. Although there are three figures, these archetypes evoke a binary opposition that defines woman as either "good woman" or "bad woman," "virgin" or "whore." As such, they limit and circumscribe the Chicana's development of subjectivity. But these cultural icons may also epitomize feminine power, and hence provide the Chicana with possible feminist role models to back up her emancipation. Chicana feminists have employed creative writing to counter the Catholic-patriarchal discourse on the Virgin of Guadalupe, Malinche, and La Llorona. As they explore these cultural archetypes in their novels, short stories, and poems, Chicana feminists attempt to reveal the mechanisms by which the original images of these mythic figures have been subverted, disempower"

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Traditional Mythic Figures in Chicanao Culture
Female Mythologies in the Fiction of Three Contemporary Chicana Writers
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Page 8 - Mexican republic, conformably with what is stipulated in the preceding article, shall be incorporated into the Union of the United States, and be admitted at the proper time (to be judged of by the Congress of the United States) to the enjoyment of all the rights of citizens of the United States, according to the principles of the Constitution; and in the meantime shall be maintained and protected in the free enjoyment of their liberty and property, and secured in the free exercise of their religion...
Page 107 - The new mestiza copes by developing a tolerance for contradictions, a tolerance for ambiguity. She learns to be an Indian in Mexican culture, to be Mexican from an Anglo point of view. She learns to juggle cultures. She has a plural personality, she operates in a pluralistic mode — nothing is thrust out, the good the bad and the ugly, nothing rejected, nothing abandoned.
Page 3 - En unas pocas centurias, the future will belong to the mestiza. Because the future depends on the breaking down of paradigms, it depends on the straddling of two or more cultures. By creating a new mythos — that is, a change in the way we perceive reality, the way we see ourselves, and the ways we behave — la mestiza creates a new consciousness.
Page 37 - Who is the Chingada? Above all, she is the Mother. Not a Mother of flesh and blood but a mythical figure. The Chingada is one of the Mexican representations of Maternity, like La Llorona or the "long-suffering Mexican mother...
Page 95 - Soft was told that her daughter's nipples had been bitten off. She had also been scourged with something, branded like cattle. Worst of all, a tracheotomy was performed because she had also been stabbed in the throat.
Page 53 - The darkness becomes a serpent's tongue, swallowing us whole. It is the night of La Llorona. The women come up from the depths of sorrow to search for their children. I join them, frantic, desperate, and our eyes become scrutinizers, our bodies opiated with the scent of their smiles. Descending from door to door, the wind whips our faces. I hear the wailing of the women and know it to be my own.
Page 80 - ... finds each morning in the sink, whose shoes she must air each evening on the porch, this husband who cuts his fingernails in public, laughs loudly, curses like a man, and demands each course of dinner be served on a separate plate like at his mother's, as soon as he gets home, on time or late, and who doesn't care at all for music or telenovelas or romance or roses or the moon floating pearly over the arroyo, or through the bedroom window for that matter, shut the blinds and go back to sleep,...
Page 28 - Both of them are passive figures. Guadalupe is pure receptivity, and the benefits she bestows are of the same order: she consoles, quiets, dries tears, calms passions. The Chingada is even more passive. Her passivity is abject: she does not resist violence, but is an inert heap of bones, blood and dust. Her taint is constitutional and resides, as we said earlier, in her sex. This passivity, open to the outside world, causes her to lose her identity: she is the Chingada. She loses her name; she is...
Page 69 - I don't know how it all fell in place. How I finally understood who you are. No longer Mary the mild, but our mother Tonantzin. Your church at Tepeyac built on the site of her temple. Sacred ground no matter whose goddess claims it. That you could have the power to rally a people when a country was born, and again during civil war, and during a farmworkers' strike in California made me think maybe there is power in my mother's patience, strength in my grandmother's endurance.

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