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UBC Theses and Dissertations

El trato de los principales personajes femeninos en las novelas de Don Armando Palacio Valdes Cameron, Patricia Anne


The modern Spanish novel of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries constitutes a very important contribution to the literature of the world. Don Armando Palacio Valdés is the modern Spanish author best known for his feminine characters in the realistic novel of that epoch. I have made a study of the Treatment of the Principal Feminine Characters in the Novels of Don Armando Palacio Valdés. Although several good books have been written on this author and his works,none gives a complete study of the feminine characters. Several critics deal with one or another woman of the novels but they do not give a general treatment. In short, there are few studies of these figures nor are there any detailed studies of the tecniques used by the author in his treatment of them. It is evident that few people have found time to read all of the novels. My study of these extremely clever portrayals of Spanish women falls into two parts. The first consists of resumes of the principal women characters in the novels of Don Armando Palacio Valdés, character by character. In these resumes, presented chronologically, the reader can see the ingenious treatment by the author of these memorable and fascinating Spanish types. He can obtain a general view of one character or make comparisons. Here also may be seen the evolution of the novelist in his method of portraying women in his early novels. What interests us especially is that through his consummate art Don Armando can present with great Spanish realism these women of a time now past, but enduringly Spanish, who still live before us in the pages of his books. The second part consists of an analysis of the treatment of the characters. Made by means of symbols and numbers, this analysis, with examples, shows the principal tendencies of Don Armando in his portrayal of feminine types. In the second part also are deductions made from the data already given. These can best be shown in outline form. A. General Observations --- Plan of Analysis. B. Analysis of the Presentation of the Women: A table of analysis of the Presentation has been given. It has been seen from that table that the character is presented most often to the reader by means of a physical description. The first general impression of the reader as to the nature of the woman is generally given by an observation on the part of the author himself. C. Analysis of the Development of the Woman: A table has been given of the development using the same system of letters and numbers. It has been seen from the table that in this section the woman is portrayed mostly by means of personal reactions which show her emotional nature or development. D. Analysis of the Complete Treatment of the Principal Characters: A table has been given of the complete treatment of each woman. From this it was observed that the most common method used by Don Armando in the Entrance of a woman character was by giving a physical description or change; that the most common tecnique in the complete treatment of the woman was through her reactions to persons or things; and that the most detailed studies are of the low women characters, while the more virtuous women are treated in a comparatively superficial manner. E. Minor Methods of Presentation; It has been shown that the minor methods of presentation of the author are gentle irony, contrast (as between the hands of one woman and another) and a description of the room of a woman as a means of showing her character. F. Moral Purpose of the Author: By means of the tragic endings of so many of the novels,Don Armando has succeeded in his professed aim — to awaken in the soul of the reader a feeling of horror at injustice in order to "re-establish equilibrium and respect for the moral law." This thesis is offered as a contribution to the literary history of the Spanish novel of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

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