The ideal woman Chapter 3. The real women Chapter 4. Cervantes' women Chapter 5.
Summary and conclus Bibliography Biographical sketch. D Women in literature lcsh Genre: bibliography marcgt non-fiction marcgt. Notes Thesis: Thesis Ph. Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references leaves General Note: Typescript.
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Adolfo Prieto, Dr. Baltasar Fra Molinero, Dr. Geraldine Nichols, Dr. Edward Baker, and Ms. Felicity Trueblood. Their guidance and support is greatly appreciated. The late Dr. Alfred Hower is remembered fondly for his help. I would also like to thank Dr. John J. Lasley for his encouraging words, assistance, and advice throughout all the years of my studies. Thanks are also due to Dr. James Amelang and Dr. Michael Gannon for helping make it possible for me to study in the Spanish archives.
In addition, I am very appreciative to the Spanish government, who helped offset the cost of my studies in Spain with a generous grant.
Finally, I would like to thank all of the members of my large family for many years of support and encouragement. Hall Zetrouer April, Chairman: Adolfo Prieto Major Department: Romance Languages and Literatures Although the body of criticism dealing with the Novelas ejemplares and other works by Miguel de Cervantes is mammoth, there has been relatively little done focusing specifically on his women characters, and even less still that situates that analysis in a broad historical context.
Yet it is precisely that context which helped determine the development of those characters; and once considered in relation to that context, his treatments of women characters can be seen not as misogynist, but rather as either responses of support for, or of proto-feminist resistances against, the dominant system in a volatile and confusing period of humankind's history.
Such divisions facilitate a determination of whether, given the parameters of the age and Local Sluts Carrizales PR work of his predecessors, Cervantes, the "Father of the Modern Novel," was able, at times, to overcome the prejudices of his society to create the mother of "the Modern Female Character. Even Cervantes, perhaps the best known and most analyzed of all Spanish authors, has been, relatively speaking, barely touched upon by contemporary feminist critics. The value of rereadings of Cervantes is obvious, particularly in light of the variety of contradictory opinions that are present in critical studies that deal with Cervantes' women characters.
However, an analysis of all of Cervantes' women characters would go beyond the limits of one dissertation. Therefore, for this study, the women of the Novelas ejemplares have been chosen as representative examples of Cervantes' women characters, particularly since that collection provides a microcosm of Cervantine character types and genre styles. In order to best locate common thre that might lead to central themes, the major characters have been divided Local Sluts Carrizales PR five basic character types, based, as Golden Age Spanish women were characterized in real life, on their relation to the dominant male figure in their lives.
Further, since some of the novellas are richer than others in their characterizations of women, the characters drawn from the individual novellas have not been treated equally. Since El licenciado vidriera devotes very little space to any description of women, that novella was only mentioned in passing. For the same reason, less discussion was centered on Rinconete and Cortadillo than on the other Local Sluts Carrizales PR, while La fuerza de la sanQre, with its problematic topics and interpersonal relationships, was analyzed in more detail.
My particular reading practices have been influenced by the works of my foremothers in the critical sphere, including Melveena McKendrick, Ruth El Saffar, Sandra M. Gilbert, Susan Gubar, and Maril6 Vigil. McKendrick's Woman and Society in the Spanish Drama of the Golden Age first gave me the inspiration for a division of Cervantes' character types, whereas El Saffar's Novel to Romance was the first work to pique my interest in the novels themselves.
Gilbert and Gubar's descriptions of angelmonster polarity in The Madwoman in the Attic brought my attention to the impossible position of women in a patriarchal society. Vigil's work, La vida de las muieres en los silos XVI y XVII, was invaluable for historical background and as an aid to understanding the social positions open to Golden Age women in general. In addition, Mary S. In earlier works, Cervantes was given little credit for any proto-feminist ideas, and was sometimes accused of misogynist tendencies.
For example, Sadie Edith Trachman claimed in that "Cervantes is absolutely conventional in his acceptance of all the commonly recognized thoughts about woman. He then added that "la carencia de sentimiento hace sus creaciones femeninas, con las excepciones dichas [Precioso, Constanza, Leonisa], borrosas y desvaidas, con arreglo a un patr6n comdn, sin propia y recia personalidad Then inRuth Lamb, in a discussion of women characters in the Quiiote, stated that Cervantes created "tipos femeninos de gran variaci6n y modulaci6n;4'" and in the same year, Helia M. Corral's opinion was that las mujeres de Cervantes tienen un dejo de modernidad que vale la pena contemplar no s6lo por el deleite est6tico que implica esta Local Sluts Carrizales PR, sino por la oportunidad que ofrecen los personajes femeninos de Cervantes al lector contempordneo, de apreciar algunos aspectos o, mejor dicho, una etapa del desarrollo paulatino que se ha llevado a cabo en la exposici6n de los personajes femeninos en la literatura occidental.
Put simply, we do not read as our grandparents and parents read.
Cervantes proved himself to be aware of the importance of reader involvement in the reading process when he had a variety of characters in the Quilote present their individual interpretations and defenses of the novels of chivalry. I have always felt empathy for the "wrong" characters, and heartily disliked or distrusted some of the "right" ones.
Patrocinio P. Schweickart, in her essay "Toward a Feminist Theory of Reading," states that "taking control of the reading experience means reading the text as it was not meant to be read, in fact, reading it against itself. It is certain that the exemplarity of Cervantes' Novelas e-emplares is not of the classic sententious, moralizing variety.
Alban K. Forcione mentions the probability of Cervantes' "awareness that the exemplarity of his tales is not to be sought where expected.
He then compares them to a "mesa de trucos" provided for each reader's enjoyment. Perhaps then, for some readers at least, the key to the exemplarity of the novels can be found within the types of characters that Cervantes chose to create and in their ways of dealing with the world around them. In preparing this study of Cervantes' women, I was guided by: the opinions of critics such as Carlos Fuentes, who stated that "sin duda, este hombre [Cervantes] era consciente del contexto cultural e hist6rico de la Europa de fines del siglo XVI e inicios del XVII, y particularmente de las realidades de Espafia como fortaleza de la Contrarreforma;"10 and Anthony J.
Cascardi, who wrote that "to view works of art as detached from the historical and social conditions surrounding their production is to view art as what Marx calls a "simple abstraction.
As stated by Ruth El Saffar, when describing not only Cervantes' creation of the Persiles, but also the difficulties he Local Sluts Carrizales PR in the task of writing in general, The problems Cervantes was working with were not confined to literature. Essential to the process being described here is the realization that "fiction" reaches far beyond the borders of the written text. When Cervantes struggles with the literary problem posed by courtly love, he is also strugling with the dominant consciousness of his day.
Cervantes wrote in the prime of Spain's "Golden Age," but the "gold" had already begun to wear thin in almost all but the arts by the time of his birth. He was faced with a nation in turmoil, a nation whose political power had been slowly ebbing since the death of Isabella in Although it was a nation that treated him badly, he seems never to have wavered in his loyalty to it--a loyalty that remained strong even as his literary creations were quietly criticizing certain unjust social policies, policies such as those that permitted, and even promoted, the unfair treatment of women. Depending upon the source of the historical text consulted, Spain's "Golden Age" is considered to have spanned between one and two hundred years, beginning in the 's, and ending in the late 's.
For the purposes of this study, the death of Queen Isabella in will serve as the beginning point, and the death of Pedro Calder6n de la Barca in will be considered the end. This fecund period of literary and artistic achievements corresponds to Local Sluts Carrizales PR time of great political upheaval in all of Europe--a time of economic, philosophical, and social crises of earthshattering proportions.
In the Golden Age, life was discovered to be not as it seemed. In addition to fortune hunters in ships, inventors and scientists with new advances such as refinements in optic lenses were revealing worlds beyond The World.
Old traditions and institutions were crumbling, or at least wobbling, under the weight of new discoveries and ideas. World views were challenged, as was the Pope, and God himself was on shaky ground.
Faced with theological questions and doubts provoked in large part by the Protestant Reformation, Spain's rulers, in the tradition of "The Catholic Monarchs" Isabella and Ferdinand, made Spain into the Tower of the Catholic faith. Even the Humanists, formerly tolerated--indeed, encouraged by the enlightened Isabella--fell victim, along with other unfortunate members of the intelligentsia, to the fanatical mania for Catholic purity.
Due to the similarities in calls for reforms and in some scriptural interpretations of Erasmus, the best-known Humanist of all, to the Protestants and to the Spanish "Iluminados" or "Alumbrados," Spanish Humanists were often accused of heretical beliefs and activities, persecuted, forced to flee or be imprisoned, sometimes tortured and burned at the stake as "luteranos. Spain's rulers seemingly had few qualms about supporting the excesses of the Inquisition. Such excesses were done, after all, in the spirit of fatherly love, to protect the souls of Spanish subjects from eternal fires. The traditional system of patriarchy was seen to extend in a direct line from, and by de of God through his guardian and soldier, the king along with his noblesdown to the lowest social stratum.
Although a divine interpretation of Spain's social divisions was not the only contemporary view of Golden Age society, it was certainly most common to interpret the role of the Spanish monarch as a "father" to his people, helping to maintain each subject in his or her divinely ased place in society, a society that was decidedly Catholic, in spite of any political conflicts between the Pope and the king. Just how Catholic it was is apparent from the zealous Phillip II's declaration that he would rather not rule at all than to rule over heretics.
Nonetheless, however weak or strong the Pope may have been in the political realm, Spanish society in general remained firmly bound by the precepts of a patriarchal religion bolstered by the strength of a patriarchal monarchy. As noted by Gerda Lerner in her book, The Creation of Patriarchy, as civilizations become more complicated, female subordination within the family becomes institutionalized and codified in law; prostitution becomes established and regulated; with increasing specialization of work, women are gradually excluded from certain occupations and professions.
Introduction Chapter 2. General Note: Vita.