Mothers and Daughters in Post-Revolutionary Mexican Literature

November 2003
220 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Monografias A
ISBN: 9781855660908
Format: Hardback
Tamesis Books

Mothers and Daughters in Post-Revolutionary Mexican Literature

Teresa M. Hurley

How women, and the generally 'other', are treated in the fiction of four Mexican women writers of the early 20th century.
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.


Hurley's contribution to the field is timely and well-informed [.] the style is intelligent and easy to read.
When she focuses on the works ... she gives them new depth, bringing them to life and inspiring a re-reading of familiar texts and a first reading of others. THE BULLETIN

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