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Title:The representation of women in the short stories of Pedro Antonio de Alarcon
Author(s):Combs, Colleen Jacqueline
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Delgado, Luisa-Elena
Department / Program:Spanish, Italian and Portuguese
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Literature, Romance
Abstract:Although Alarcon is generally classified among the realist writers of nineteenth century Spain, he is actually a transitional figure between the Romantic and realist movements. This thesis explores the effects of his Romantic tendencies on his portrayal of women in his three collections of short stories, as well as a few narratives that were excluded from his Obras completas.
The first chapter is a biographical background of the author that focuses in particular on his relationships with women. The second chapter contains a brief discussion of the difficulties in defining a short story and a history of the genre.
The third chapter begins a story by story analysis of the female characters in Alarcon's largest collection, Cuentos amatorios. This selection includes two of his best known stories, "El clavo" and "La Comendadora", which coincidentally display the full range of the author's style, from the highly Romantic to the extremely realistic. Also discussed in this section is "La novela natural", which most scholars consider to be Alarcon's parody of the naturalist movement he so disliked.
Chapter four of the thesis covers the stories of the Historietas nacionales. Under the most frequent theme of martial glory, the role of women is marginalized.
The next collection is the Narraciones inverosimiles. The Romantic elements of passion, mystery, violence, and exotic settings are especially apparent in these stories.
Chapter six deals with three tales that Alarcon did not include in his Obras completas. Their exclusion is based on the greater Romantic independence and subjectivity that young author allowed his female characters.
The final section concludes that the nineteenth century ideal of the "angel of the hearth" was simply a rewriting of the Romantic ideal of women as objects of desire for male protagonists. Both models delineate traits of beauty and passivity for female characters.
Issue Date:1996
Rights Information:Copyright 1996 Combs, Colleen Jacqueline
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9625124
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9625124

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