First Advisor

Cynthia A. Sloan

Term of Graduation

Winter 1997

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Spanish


World Languages and Literatures




Women in literature, Identity (Psychology) in literature, Ferrâe, Rosario Papeles de Pandora



Physical Description

1 online resource (74 pages)


This thesis examines four stories from Rosario Ferre's first book of short stories, Papeles de Pandora: "La mufieca menor," "Cuando las mujeres quieren a los hombres," "Amalia," and "La bella durmiente." In Papeles de Pandora, Ferre explores the portrayal of female identity by dismantling the traditional roles that are assigned to women in Puerto Rican, patriarchal society. This thesis analyzes the ways in which Ferre skillfully deconstructs and (re )constructs the identity and sense of self of her female protagonists.

To demonstrate Ferre's deconstruction and (re)construction of the female identity, This study focuses on Ferre's use ofrecurring motifs such as: the use of doll like figures, the juxtaposition of black and white, and fantastical elements. These elements, evocative of lucid tendency of postmodern theory, underscore the process by which women either conform to or reject the roles imposed upon them by patriarchal society. Asking the reader for a momentary "suspension of disbelief," Ferre employs those devices to dramatize the ways in which patriarchal society's tools of oppression are used against women. Ferre then appropriates these tools and uses them to denounce the injustices committed against women. With this act, Ferre makes evident the individual's ability to build a new, and more authentic identity in an oppressive social context.


In Copyright. URI:

This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).


If you are the rightful copyright holder of this dissertation or thesis and wish to have it removed from the Open Access Collection, please submit a request to and include clear identification of the work, preferably with URL.

Persistent Identifier