2 Advisors: Dr. Urioste, Dra. Zielina, Dr. Gómez, Iván Zamora The Dismantling of the Traditional Mexican Woman in the Novel Tear This Heart Out by Angeles MastrettaÚrsula OlivoCapstone 2014Advisors: Dr. Urioste, Dra. Zielina, Dr. Gómez, Iván Zamora
3 Acknowledgements Professors: Family: Friends: Dr. Gómez Lilia Gutiérrez Yesenia OlmosDr. Urioste Maximiliano Olivo Alejandra DrteDra. Zielina Héctor Ojeda Iván ZamoraDr. Arrizabalaga Marzo Olivo Ana TopeteAdán Olivo María OrozcoAlma Olivo José AlfaroThanks to every single one of you for all your support during my CSUMBjourney. Specially to my parents’ unconditional love. You inspireme in so many ways you cannot imagine. I love you all.
4 WLC-400 Major Capstone Requirements The objective of this Capstone project is to meet the WLC-400 Major Capstone requirements which are the following:Students work with the instructor and WLC faculty advisors to research, synthesize, write and present their Capstone projects. Students will also assemble a Graduation Portfolio reflecting how each MLO was met. This course is required for all Japanese, Spanish and World Languages and Cultures majors.
5 To meet the WLC-400 requirements I chose to research more extensively Angeles Mastretta’s Tear This Heart Out. Of all the literature I read during my two years of study at CSUMB, I found this novel to be innovative, non-traditional and non-conservative which makes it shine with its own light. This novel denounces political, social and traditional issues from the 30’s and 40’s in post-revolutionary Mexico.
6 Ángeles MastrettaMastretta was born in Puebla, Mexico in1949. At age 20 she moved to Mexico City, the place where she still lives and has written most of her works.
8 INDEX Introduction Plot The Role of Women in Mexico Topics Analyzed Author InformationPlotThe Role of Women in MexicoTopics AnalyzedSexual FreedomConclusion
9 Plot – Tear This Heart Out The novel tells the story of Catalina Guzman, a young woman from Puebla, Mexico who marries Andres Ascencio, a post-revolutionary general. Shortly after her marriage, Catalina realizes her husband is a corrupt politician and becomes Andres’ main accomplice by not denouncing his sociopolitical abuses; she is scared of losing her life at his government’s hands.Wanting to rebel against Andres and the patriarchal society she lives in, Catalina becomes Carlos Vives’ lover. Vives, the director of the National Orchestra, meets Catalina in Mexico City.
10 Plot - Continued…Soon after Andres learns his wife is having an affair, he sends his corrupt people to kidnap, torture and finally kill Carlos. Catalina is greatly affected by her lover’s death. Eventually she gets her revenge by slowly poisoning Andres with herbal teas.At her husband’s burial Catalina bursts into tears. However, those tears are for her lover Carlos and not for Andres. She finally finds herself full of hope and “almost happy”.
11 Primary Characters… Catalina Guzman Andres Ascencio Carlos Vives Don MarcosRodolfo CamposBarbara (Catalina’s sister)Lilia (Andres’ daughter)Lucina (Nanny)Bibi (Catalina’s friend)Monica (Catalina’s friend)Pepa (Catalina’s friend)
12 Themes from the Novel… Social and Political Corruption Death The Role of Women in Post-revolutionary MexicoCaciquismMachismoIncestInfidelity, Love and SexSexual FreedomSocial Development of WomenLack of Motherly Love
13 According to Octavio Paz… Like in almost all towns, Mexicans consider women as objects that are ought to please men’s desires, follow the law and the moral rules society has assigned for them… In a world made to see through men’s eyes; women are just the reflection of men and not their individual self. -Octavio Paz
14 Sexual Freedom“I was fifteen years old and I had the desire of things to happen to me. That’s why I agreed when Andres asked me to go with him to Tecolutla for a few days” (Mastretta, 9).“What I really did was give my self the fright of a lifetime. I had seen horses and bulls mount mares and cows, but the erection of a grown man was something else. I let myself be touched without hesitation, without moving, stiff as a paper doll” (Mastretta, 9-10).
15 Sexual Freedom Continued… “I was awake all night, on fire, wanting more” (Mastretta, 10).“I want to feel… I returned home, knowing a secret that was impossible to share. I waited until the lights went out and my sisters were deep asleep. I put my hand on my clitoris and I moved it. Everything that mattered was there; you could see, hear, and think through there. I did not have a head, nor legs, feet or a belly button. My legs became stiff like they wanted to detach from my body. Yes indeed, everything was in the clitoris” (Mastretta, 9-10).
16 Sexual Freedom Continued… Catalina– “It seems like you are having an affair”.Pepa– “I have one. We have sex like gods”.“They met in the mornings. Everyday from ten to noon in a small rented room in the storeroom at La Victoria market. Who was him? The only man that her husband would let her cross a word or two with; the doctor that took care of her miscarriages. Three miscarriages had been enough. He was a handsome man and the most famous male midwife in Puebla. Half of the women would have liked to have an affair with him, some would doll themselves up more to see him than to go to a dance. He ended up with Pepa, the most difficult woman to be with” (Mastretta, 96).
17 Sexual Freedom Continued… “ I became unfaithful way before touching Carlos Vives” (Mastretta, 143)Carlos– What a country! Those who are not afraid are bored. Are you afraidCatalina?.Catalina– I used to be bored to death.Carlos– Not anymore?Catalina– Not anymoreCarlos– What do you want to do?Catalina– When?Carlos– Now.Catalina– Whatever you want to do. What do you want to do?Carlos– I want to have sex.Catalina– With me?Carlos– No, with Chofi.(Mastretta, 159)
18 Sexual Freedom Continued… Carlos– Why did you get married at sixteen with a general that is so close tothe president?Catalina– What do I know why I married at sixteen.“I’m thirty I want to govern myself, I want to live with you, I want the hagsthat orgasm while they watch you directing the orchestra know that I’m theonly one that orgasms with you” (Mastretta, 178).
19 Conclusion Topic Researched Sexual FreedomÁngeles Mastretta’s novel Tear This Heart OutInnovativeNon-traditionalControversialNon-conservative
20 SourcesAnderson, Danny J. "Displacement: Strategies of Transformation in Arrancame la vida." The Journal of the Midwest Modern Language Association 21.1 (1988):Bodevin, Leon. "Naturaleza y cultura: Una lectura elemental de "Arrancame la vida" de Angeles Mastretta." Revista de Critica Literaria Latinoamericana (2003):Espada Suárez, Rosa. Angeles Mastretta, escritora mexicana. Breves notas sobre una de sus novelas. Notas. México Distrito Federal: Universidad Autonoma de Mexico, UNAM.Holz, Karl. "El macho vencido. La sátira social en la novela Arrancame la vida de Angeles Mastretta." Anuario de Letras (La Revista del Centro de Linguistica Hispánica (1994):Lavery, Jane. "The Physical Body and Identity in the Works of Angeles Mastretta and Elena Poniatowska." Revista Hispánica Moderna 54.1 (2001):Lerner, Gerda. "The Mayority Finds Its Past: Placing Women in History." Lerner, Gerda. New York: Oxford UP,Marguris, Mario. Juventud, cultura, sexualidad: la dimensión cultural en la efectividad y la sexualidad de los jóvenes de Buenos Aires. Buenos Aires : Editorial Biblos , 2003.Mastretta, Angeles. Arrancame la vida. 2o. Mexico, D.F.: Editorial Planeta Mexican, S.A. de C.V. , 1985.Paz, Octavio. El laberinto de la soledad. Buenos Aires: México : Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1959.Quintana, Alejandro. Maximino Avila Camacho and the One Party State: The Taming of Caudillismo and Caciquismo in Post-Revolucionary Mexico. Lanham : Lexington Books , 2010.Sabia, Said. "La Historia desde la trastienda." Espéculo. Revista de estudios literarios 32 (2006). <http://www.ucm.es/info/especulo/numero32/arravida.html>.