Date of Award

5-2014

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Foreign Languages

First Advisor

Dawn Smith-Sherwood, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Laura Delbrugge, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Sean McDaniel, Ph.D.

Abstract

Benito Pérez Galdós is widely considered one of the best Spanish novelists of the XIX century. The second half of the XIX century in Spain is known not only for its political crises, but also for its social problems. Ways of thinking and artistic expression also reflect the situation in the country. Literature is no exception. In literature, realism appears, transmitting representations of reality and combining all aspects of life: cultural, social, political, and economical. Among the many topics Galdós explores, the place of women in society is frequent. Not only female characters, as Doña Perfecta, Augusta Orozco, and Tristana break from traditional roles. Masculine characters, as Don Lope from Tristana, Pepe Rey from Doña Perfecta and Manolo Infante of La incognita, also differ from the established norms. Many of his characters cross boundaries between feminine and masculine characteristics.

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