The Power Shift In Traditional Gender Roles Is Immediately

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The power shift in traditional gender roles is immediately evident through the female-driven narrative of ‘La Novia Oscura’. The verbal portrait of Sayonara is constructed upon a female framework; the reporter is overwhelmed by the fervour with which the prostitutes recount their experiences, “Estas mujeres…tenían un enorme ‘deseo de contar’”(pg.14). Although Sayonara’s absence denies her agency over her own account, the matriarchal sub-community of Tora, along with the reporter, unite as a female collective to transform the legendary prostitute from a silent absence to an active voice, a privilege traditionally reserved for the male. Further transgression of traditional patriarchal authority is manifest in the novel’s conscious…show more content…
Despite her limited geographical movement, the mestiza prostitute’s “Gloria extendía doquiera que corrían los tubos petroleros”(pg.117). Sayonara’s effortless fame grants her the ability to figuratively cross international borders and this in turn, prevents her confinement to the traditional domestic sphere in which the female is pigeonholed into the position of ama de casa. Francine Masiello argues that in order not to be subjected to a prescribed feminine role, feminine heroines repudiate any fixed point of origin. This corresponds to Sayonara who, upon first meeting, seems to appear from thin air, “Dice que no supo cuando ella se encaramó a la zorra” (pg.) This displacement extends to her ambiguous departure in which she disappears into oblivion, “hacia un future incierto”(pg.392). The lack of geographical anchors shrouds “la mujer de los adioses” (pg.77) in mystery and bestows upon her a transcendental quality which grants her immunity from settling into a prescribed feminine role. Likewise, the profession of prostitution unabashedly casts off the puppet strings which constrict women to the private sphere. Despite common, prescribed belief, it is found that the majority of mujeres de la vida enter into the post by vocation as opposed, to economic necessity as the ideals of domesticity rapidly lose credibility in a country which, as Restrepo declares “está en el camino”. For instance, in
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