Semester of Graduation

Spring 2019


Master of Arts (MA)


Foreign Languages and Literature - Hispanic Studies

Document Type



Drawing on novels by Leopoldo Alas Clarín and Benito Pérez Galdós, I will examine the portraits of women in La Regenta (1885), Tristana (1892), andLa de San Quintín (1894). By exploring how women in the works are reflected in terms of identity and nature of their role from a male-authored perspective, I will study how different aspects influence the development of their character, as well as the issues they face when searching for their identity. Galdós and Clarín unravel the women to embody the nation of Spain and the conditions it was going through before the 1898 disaster. I will discuss the representation behind the feminine role of the women along with the modernization of Spain. By investigating the way they are portrayed we will see the different views of how women were perceived at this time. I conclude this analysis with my interpretation of gender and nation based on the portrayal of motherless women. In this thesis I am viewing the works of Clarín and Galdós from the perspective of female eyes. As the goal of this analysis is to determine how gender frames national identity in a modern construct, I will use the theoretical concepts of gender, nation, and feminism in terms of the traditional woman to the “New Woman” in the Spanish nation by Elaine Showalter, Catherine Jagoe, Ernest Renan, Bridget Aldaraca, Noël Valis, and Jo Labanyi, among others to support my analysis for the perspectives and ideas on the topic of this specific time period.

Committee Chair

Heneghan, Dorota K



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