Award Date

May 2015

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

English

First Committee Member

Vincent Perez

Second Committee Member

Evelyn Gajowski

Third Committee Member

Julia Lee

Fourth Committee Member

Alicia Rico

Number of Pages

88

Abstract

Over the past thirty years, American literary scholarship has shifted focus away from a national approach centered on the United States to a hemispheric methodology that includes all of the countries within this hemisphere. As scholars begin to break down the once iron-clad borders that stood between the American canon and the authors of our hemispheric neighbors, new opportunities have arisen for literary exploration. As an original contribution to this field of scholarship, my thesis project uses a hemispheric and comparative methodology to identify and examine the manifestations of reification and patriarchy in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby (1925) and Juan Rulfo’s Pedro Páramo (1955). While representing United States and Mexican culture, respectively, there is an abundance of intriguing similarities between the two formative novels. Specifically, my project explores the two main female characters, Daisy Buchanan in Gatsby and Susana San Juan in Pedro Páramo. As the wives of powerful men, Daisy and Susana experience both reification and patriarchy in markedly similar ways despite the cultural differences that separate them. As the ultimate implication of this commodification and objectification, I explore to what extent these women experience “madness” and whether or not that “madness” leads to triumph or defeat.

Keywords

Fitzgerald; hemispheric; madness; patriarchy; reification; Rulfo

Disciplines

American Literature | Comparative Literature | Latin American Languages and Societies | Latin American Literature

Language

English