The Image of the Latina Woman in Hispanic-American Theater



Rok publikování 2017
Druh Další prezentace na konferencích
Fakulta / Pracoviště MU

Filozofická fakulta

Popis American media has created a stereotypical image of the Latina woman based on both racial and gender biases. Not only has the image of a homogeneous appearance been solidified in mainstream media, but also the idea of a homogeneous character that applies to all Hispanic women plays decisive role in shaping our collective conscious. One of the central aspects of this stereotypical image is the Latina woman’s overemphasized femininity, who is often shown as fiery-tempered and promiscuous. In this paper I argue that it is vitally important to look at how the ethnic group views itself since the discourse on female sexuality has its own tradition in Latin-American cultures, in which influential female archetypal figures have played vital roles. Female sexuality is a central theme of the exilic Cuban playwright, María Irene Fornés’s plays. In Sarita, the playwright does not reject the stereotype of the oversexualized woman; instead, she makes conscious use of it. Sarita, the main character of the play, is driven from promiscuity to aggression and insanity by her sexual desire. Fornés converts the stereotype of the promiscuous Latina woman into a symbol of victimization by male sexual oppression and a symbol of the constant struggle between female sexuality and the American society’s expectations. Fornés, who is considered the most influential Hispanic-American playwright, has had a lasting impact on contemporary Hispanic-American theater and performance. Her characters have served as role-models for a young generation of Hispanic-American playwrights. The aim of this paper is to investigate the stereotype of the Latina woman in other Hispanic-American playwrights’ works, such as Cherríe Moraga and Anne-García Romero; to examine how these images of the Latina woman respond to the stereotype perpetuated by American media; and to consider how they challenge María Irene Fornés’s conception of female sexuality.
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