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Feminine Dis-ease in Ciudad Real by Rosario Castellanos

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Article of journalFinnegan, Nuala. Feminine Dis-ease in Ciudad Real by Rosario Castellanos.  / Enfermedad en femenino en Ciudad Real de Rosario Castellanos Hispanic Research Journal, 2001 vol. 2 no. 1 p. 45-60. Keywords:
Literature | Women's and Gender Studies
Rosario Castellanos / narrativa / cuento / escritoras / género


Ciudad Real, a book of short stories published by Rosario Castellanos in 1960, has been largely neglected by literary criticism. This article examines the idea of femininity in Ciudad Real, exploring the metaphors of sickness and deformity in the delineation of its female characters. These metaphors contribute to a process of negation of the female body, and the article focuses on that process, as it develops in the protagonists of the stories 'Modesta Gómez' and 'La rueda del hambriento'. The female protagonists adopt this recourse in order to gain a measure of textual autonomy, an autonomy that is frustrated by factors outside the control of the characters, such as race and class. In its turn, this process functions as a metaphor of the struggle Castellanos must undergo in order to be accepted and included within the masculine tradition of Mexican literature. The article also considers the implications of this negative vision of femininity for recent feminist critique of Rosario Castellanos's work.

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