Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Committee Member

P. Jane Hafen

Number of Pages



By redefining social or economic "classes" as cultures, or as Raymond Williams explains, groups that share a "structure of feeling," the dissertation defines power in accordance with the shared values, beliefs, attitudes, and practices defined by the culture of persistence and the culture of wealth. With culturally determined definitions of power in place, the dissertation argues for a broader understanding of female power as that power is accessed and wielded by female characters in the writings of Willa Cather, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and Dorothy AlliSon Engaging the strategies of feminist geographies employed by critics including Doreen Massey, Gillian Rose, and the Women and Geography Study Group, the dissertation analyzes the methods by which female characters negotiate the spaces/places where they live, work, and travel, evaluating their relative successes or failures in accessing and wielding power; The three analytic chapters examine works by Cather---the novel The Song of the Lark, and the short story "A Gold Slipper," Garcia Marquez---the novel The Autumn of the Patriarch , and the short story, "The Trail of Your Blood in the Snow" from the collection of stories titled Strange Pilgrims, and Allison---the novel Bastard Out of Carolina, and the short story "I'm Working on My Charm" from the collection titled Trash respectively. In order to magnify the power of the female characters, the discussion evaluates the female characters in relation to the definition of power specifically determined by the character's culture, whether the culture of persistence or the culture of wealth. At the same time, the spaces/places/locations where the characters live, work, and move through are analyzed to produce an understanding of how the characters access and wield power; Finally, a stark contrast is established between the female characters created by Cather and Allison and those created by Garcia Marquez, since Cather and Allison fully imagine female characters who are successful at accessing and wielding power in the spaces/places they live in, work in, and move through. In contrast, Garcia Marquez creates powerful women whose power functions only fully in microgeographies, and Garcia Marquez ultimately destroys those characters, despite their access to power.


Allison; Allison, Dorothy; Cather; Cather, Willa; Colombia; Colombia; Dorothy; Gabriel; Garcia; Garcia Marquez, Gabriel; Geographies; Marquez; Power; Willa

Controlled Subject

American literature; Latin American literature

File Format


File Size

11130.88 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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