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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Ecocritical Approaches to Fiction of Two Regional Traditions: Selected Fiction in Jalisco, México and Antioquia, Colombia.

  • Author(s): Gomez, Dalia
  • Advisor(s): Williams, Raymond L.
  • et al.

This dissertation focuses on the portrayal of human attitudes and actions and their impact on the environment in the works of Mexican authors, Agustín Yáñez and Homero Aridjis, and Colombian writers, Tomás Carrasquilla and Pablo Montoya. Although, these writers did not identify themselves as environmentalists, (with exception of Homero Aridjis), I observe that overall, their works implicitly denounce human actions on the environment. In my chapter “Return to Nature in Frutos de mi tierra (1896),” by Tomás Carrasquilla, I analyze how Medellín’s Nineteenth-Century capitalist society promotes a life-style that desensitizes human identification and coexistence with the natural world. In “Domination or Coexistence in Nature in Las tierras flacas (1962),” by Agustín Yáñez, I observe how the use of sustainable technology is implemented in a rural town to improve agriculture, as well as the different positions of domination, stewardship, and coexistence between humans and nature, arguing that Yáñez’ portrayal suggests that both stewardship and dominion, like patriarchy, assume human superiority over all non-human beings. In “Cultural Attitudes Towards the Environment in El hombre que amaba el sol (2005),” by Homero Aridjis, I reflect on the representation of environmental injustice of the State failing to educate society in environmental awareness so that it might more harmoniously coexist and protect nature, and particularly the Monarch butterfly. In “The Colonization of Nature in Tríptico de la Infamia (2014),” by Pablo Montoya, I explore how human actions impact the environment. I also study the imperial gaze brought by French colonizers during Sixteen-Century to the “New World” and contrast it the Timucuas’ interdependence with the nonhuman world.

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