Battered Angels: Domestic Violence in Spanish Literature, 1850-1925

Kaiura, Leslie Maxwell, Doctor of Philosophy, University of Virginia
Pope, Randolph, Department for Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese, University of Virginia
Gies, David, Department for Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese, University of Virginia
Lagos, Maria-Ines, Department for Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese, University of Virginia
Fraiman, Susan, Department of English, University of Virginia

"Battered Angels: Domestic Violence in Spanish Literature, 1850- 1925," investigates the issue of domestic violence in nineteenth- and early twentieth- century Spain, utilizing sources from the literature, press, and legal codes of the time. By analyzing representations of domestic violence, it seeks to achieve a dual purpose: first, to cast light on the ideological and s0ciological underpinnings of a social problem that has still not been adequately addressed, and second, to trace significant moments in the development of a feminist critique in Spain through the discourse surrounding the issue. The first two chapters of the dissertation explore how the social forces that determined women's status (laws, etiquette manuals, church doctrine, tradition,) contributed to the problem of domestic violence, and how incidents of violence against women were portrayed in the press, specifically in Madrid newspapers. Many voices in the nineteenth-century gender debate idealized women as "angels in the house" and lauded the home as a safe haven from the harsh outside world, but many factual and fictional accounts of women's lives reveal a different, more dangerous, side of domesticity. The remaining chapters explore the themes of masochism, physical and psychological abuse, and sexual assault in works by five women authors. They include figures such as Fermin Caballero and Maria Pilar Sinues de Marco, who approach issues of domestic violence from a traditional and conservative point ofview, and Emilia Pardo Bazan and Carmen de Burgos, who bring a feminist critique to their representations of the problem. In the middle of these two sides is a nearly forgotten figure, Ana Garda de Ia Torre, who struggles between tradition and critique as she depicts women caught in tragic or violent situations caused by the men around them.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
domestic violence, nineteenth century Spanish Literature

Digitization of this thesis was made possible by a generous grant from the Jefferson Trust, 2015.

Thesis originally deposited on 2015-12-08 in version 1.28 of Libra. This thesis was migrated to Libra2 on 2017-03-23 16:38:06.

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