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Sexualidad, género y sociedad en la literatura del Caribe hispanohablante (1950 - 2000)

  • Author(s): Davila, Joanna
  • Advisor(s): Marturano, Jorge
  • et al.
Abstract

This dissertation examines texts from selected Dominican and Puerto Rican authors written during the second half of the twentieth century and whose main themes are lesbianism and the development, behavior, and impact of lesbian women in Caribbean society. When one looks at a text from the queerness standpoint,one is forced to challenge and rethink the national identity of the country in which the work is written (Molloy and McKee xii).

I argue that the texts studied in this investigation not only question the fundamental constructs of society, but also reveal the rules of the sexual and gender identities that govern the idea of behaviors considered "normal". I also suggest that these texts present an alternative scenario for the development of a different society; one that accepts the homosexual as an active subject in the definition of the national construct. Finally, I propose that the selected texts are a way of deliverance for the woman writer opposite to what may serve the male writer who tends to use them as an instrument to go against the implementation of alternative lifestyles.

In Chapter 1, I analyze the discursive frameworks of prejudice against "the other" as a prelude and a symbol of discrimination toward the homosexual. I also trace the marginalization of the gay voice that is forced into the periphery of society in order to silence it. I argue that if the gay voice were to be heard, it would be disallowed by social judgment precisely because of its source. In Chapter 2, I study how male writers view the lesbian woman and how the male point of view reflects the thinking of a society that is primarily sexist and heterosexual. The main hypothesis in this chapter is that men view lesbians as a potential threat to the proper functioning of the society in which he lives and where he is the central focus. Finally in Chapters 3-4, I examine texts written by women to analyze how the women define themselves and their aspirations, independent of their sexual orientation.

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