A study of selected themes in the feminist novels of Alicia Yanez Cossio
Boyles, Morgan Dane
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This study focuses on the feminist elements and attitudes in four of Alicia Yanez Cosslo's novels. Four of the novels are treated in depth while one novel, Mas alia de las islas, is left aside since its theme to a large extent lies outside the focus of the present study. Yanez Cossio writes to expose injustices and oppression propagated by patriarchal society. She uses her women characters as mouthpieces to enlighten and educate both males and females. Yanez Cossio narrates these events with Ecuador as the backdrop representing women's plight in a machista society. This dissertation consists of a preface, seven chapters and an appendix. Chapter I is an introduction. Chapter II shows how Bruna ^ soroche y los tios lies within the parameters of a feminized quest-romance. It also includes a study of the character's feminist leanings, and how the women characters are represented as secondary in relation to their male counterparts. Chapter III deals with the feminine consciousness, the coming-of-age of the protagonist. Special attention has been given to the initiation of the feminine consciousness and the maturation process. Chapter IV delineates how Yanez Cossio exposes consumerism (capitalism) as the destroyer of both men and women alike. Special emphasis is placed the socio-economic order, and on women's role in the work force. Yanez Cossio examines the socio-economic condition of Ecuador, and the struggles women have to confront daily to combat ideological prejudice. Exploitation, dehumanization and injustice all play integral roles to show the inequality between men and women in Ecuador. Chapter V deals with the subversion of the patriarchal order in La cofradia del mullo del vestido de la viraen pipona. Yanez Cossio describes a town dominated by Dona Carmen Benavides, who demands adoration of the Virgen Pipona as a means to mask her own political, social, religious and economic ambitions. Chapter VI explores the use of prostitution as a means to maintain masculine lordship and feminine bondage in La casa del sano placer. Chapter VII is the conclusion. The appendix is a personal interview conducted by the author with Alicia Yanez Cossio in Quito, Ecuador, on October 6, 1993.