Chicanas/Latinas in American Theatre

Excerpt…

Bernabé introduces us to three figures who contrast sharply with each other: the mother, the prostitute, and the new woman of power. Each character begins with traditional roles, but in the context of socio-political events she moves from victim to liberator and activist. These women are pivotal in Bernabés’s life. Valdez uses the universal theme of male supremacy over land, power, and wealth to illustrate that man’s wish to attain land frequently creates the antithesis of that desire in man’s exploitation of human beings by society. By the end of the drama, man has been redeemed by woman, who has been able to renew and revive him within a higher, spiritual realm that is part of a cosmos in which Chicana/Chicano ideology reigns supreme” (88).

“We witness what Diana Taylor has identified as a key element of Latin American dramatists: “They approach specific issues that are key to an understanding of Latin America and its cultural images- among them, colonialism, institutionalized violence, revolution, identity and self-definition, and socio-economic centrality versus marginality-in a variety of strikingly powerful ways” (99).

Ramírez, Elizabeth C. Chicanas/Latinas in American Theatre: A History of Performance. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 2000. Print.

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