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Deconstruction, metafiction, fairy tales, and feminism: A comparative study of Rosa Montero's "Te tratare como a una reina" and "Bella y oscura" and Toni Morrison's "Tar Baby" and "The Bluest Eye"

Mechelle Shan Doughty, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Abstract

The role that literature embedded with fairy and folk tale myths plays in identity formation has attracted the attention of both feminist and postmodern writers and critics. African American and Spanish women writers are concerned with the lack of literature fostering strong female models. These women are bonded by their journey to overcome the internalization of controlling patriarchal perceptions and images of women, like the repressive stereotypes that permeate literature, many of which are encoded in folk and fairy tale myths. ^ The purpose of this study is to examine how Toni Morrison and Rosa Montero use similar techniques to subvert and deconstructively rewrite the fairy tale icons of the heroine and the hero masquerading as real, thus underscoring the conflict between literature and reality. I focus on their use of binary oppositional characters, mirrors, inversions, and metafiction, to deconstruct the stereotypical roles of both men and women, underscoring the role that literature plays in creating self-identity problems when women try to imitate fictional characters. The reader is forced to reexamine literary icons and their role in the real world. ^ The introduction places into perspective the role that fairy and folk tale myths have in the formation of stereotyping and the effect of patriarchal society on the individual's achievement and retention of an integrated, acceptable self. After identifying the aspects of the narratology in chapter one, I begin the textual analysis of Tar Baby. In chapter two, I apply Patricia Hill Collins' and bell hooks' theories on the underlying system of objectification and domination to Te trataré como a una reina . In chapters three and four I explore how The Bluest Eve and Bella y oscura respectively probe the African American and Spanish women's sense of helplessness, its connection to father/daughter dependency, and the role of fairy tales in the formation of this relationship. ^

Subject Area

Literature, Comparative|Literature, Romance|Black Studies|Women's Studies|Literature, American

Recommended Citation

Doughty, Mechelle Shan, "Deconstruction, metafiction, fairy tales, and feminism: A comparative study of Rosa Montero's "Te tratare como a una reina" and "Bella y oscura" and Toni Morrison's "Tar Baby" and "The Bluest Eye"" (2004). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3142076.
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/dissertations/AAI3142076

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