Mothers and Daughters in Post-revolutionary Mexican Literature

Hardback
Nellie Campobello, Rosario Castellanos, Elena Garro and Elena Poniatowska, all born in the first half of the twentieth century, explore in a unique genre - a combination of memoir, autobiography and historical novel - some of the myths about women current in Mexico at the time. Prime among these is that of the madre abnegada, the self-sacrificing mother, devoted exclusively to her children at the expense of her own fulfilment. In this study the mothers' dissenting voices are exposed, as are the feelings of the daughters who appear devoted to their mothers but feel resentment at what they perceive as their mother's emotional distance. The antithesis of the madre abnegada is the mujer mala, the whore, a notion the author also questions by revealing the complexity of the mother-daughter relationship, through which women may perpetuate their own oppression. Highlighting the voice of the 'other', Mothers and Daughters reveals the broad spectrum of people (children, the indigenous, the poor, the impoverished landed gentry, as well as women) who found themselves excluded from the material benefits of reform and progress that followed the Revolution. Teresa M.Hurley is currently teaching at the University of Exeter. Nellie Campobello, Rosario Castellanos, Elena Garros y Elena Poniatowsky, cuatro escritoras mexicanas nacidas en la primera mitad del siglo XX, exploran dentro de un genero unico - se trata de una combinacion de memorias, autobiografia, y novela historica - algunos de los mitos acerca de las mujeres prevalecientes en Mexico en el siglo XX: la madre abnegada; la hija devota de su madres, pero resentida a causa de la distancia emocional que sufre; y la puta - todas son figuras femeninas que, en algun sentido, construyen la carcel de su propia opresion. Al enfatizar la voz de las 'Otras' esta monografia revela la amplitud de las personas afectadas en la sociedad mexicana de aquella epoca -- no solamente las mujeres sino tambien los ninos, los indigenas, los pobres, los terratenientes emprobrecidos: todos fueron excluidos de los beneficios materiales creados por la Reforma y el progreso social que nacieron en Mexico a raiz de la Revolucion.