Barnes, Julia Corine
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This dissertation examines the origins and continued presence of the literary figure of the tyrannical mother in the works of five contemporary Spanish novelists. With the advent of Enlightenment contract theory, and the exclusion of women from the public sphere, misogynistic representations of mother-figures acquire a political connotation. The tyrannical mother figure is used by progressive writers to represent their conservative political enemies, because coding these conservative ideologies as feminine casts into doubt their legitimacy. Even in the works of women novelists, the tyrannical mother figure continues to have influence as a political tool. This dissertation analyzes novels of Ana María Matute, Ana María Moix, Almudena Grandes, Josefina Aldecoa and Lucía Etxebarria in order to show the continued use of the figure and how more recent novelists have attempted to contest the stereotype.