The Ideological Appropriation of La Malinche in Mexican and Chicano Literature

The Ideological Appropriation of La Malinche in Mexican and Chicano Literature

Date: August 2013
Creator: Moriel Hinojosa, Rita Daphne
Description: La Malinche is one of the most controversial figures in Mexican and Chicano literature. The historical facts about her life before and after the Spanish Conquest are largely speculative. What is reliably known is that she had a significant role as translator, which developed into something of mythic proportions. The ideological appropriation of her image by three authors, Octavio Paz, Laura Esquivel and CherrĂ­e Moraga, are explored in this thesis. The full extent of the proposed rendition of La Malinche by Octavio Paz is the basis of the second chapter. The conclusion drawn by Paz, in The Labyrinth of Solitude (1950) is that La Malinche is what he calls la chingada [the raped/violated one] and proposes that all women are always open to conquest, sexually and otherwise. Laura Esquivel's novel Malinche (2006) is a re-interpretation that focuses on the tongue as the source of power and language as the ultimate source of autonomy for La Malinche. This aspect of La Malinche and the contrast of Paz's understanding are the basis of the third chapter of this thesis. CherrĂ­e Moraga, in Loving in the War Years (1983), proposes that if women are to be traitors, it is not each other that ...
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