Six archetypes in selected novels of Ana María Matute



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Texas Tech University


Ana Maria Matute has been and continues to prove that she is among the most outstanding writers of the post-civil war period in Spain. Matute does not confine her fiction to a single category or style; rather it has developed with the woman, the changes in literary modes and the changes in Spain. Matute, who was ten years old at the outbreak of the Spanish civil war, lived through the devastating events not only of the war but also of the oppressive regime that followed. Writing was not only her means of financial support but also was her psychological support. She has participated in a narrative dialogue with the ghosts that lingered from her experiences through the war and the resulting years of chaos afterward.

Many of Matute's characters are recurring types throughout the span of her publication, for over fifty years. The figures that her characters represent are intriguing, are universal in nature, are timeless, and fit well into most ages and cultures. The present study will use Carol Pearson's six archetypes defined in "The Hero within: Six Archetypes We Live By." The archetypes examined are the Innocent, the Orphan, the Wanderer, the Martyr, the Warrior and the Magician. These archetypes appear most clearly in the epic novel of Matute, however her earlier works demonstrate the birth and development of the archetypes. This work discovers Matute's multiple application of archetypes as characters transition from one archetype to the next throughout her characterization development in her novels both individually as well as in succession collectively.



Matute, Ana María, 1926- -- Criticism and interpretation, Spanish literature -- Women authors -- History and criticism, Spanish literature -- 20th century -- History and criticism, Archetypes in literature