Title page for ETD etd-05172001-141243

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Perez-Lagunes, Rosario
URN etd-05172001-141243
Title The Myth of La Malinche: From the Chronicles to Modern Mexican Theater
Degree Master of Arts
Department History
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Bixler, Jacqueline E. Committee Chair
Fernandez-Vasquez, Antonio A. Committee Member
Green, W. John Committee Member
  • Mexican Theater
  • Mexican Conquest
  • Malinche
Date of Defense 2001-05-01
Availability unrestricted
In the changing discourse on Mexican history, La Malinche has evolved from a historical figure of the Conquest to a national myth and a symbol of all those who have allied themselves with foreigners against their own country and its native values and traditions. On the other hand, La Malinche is regarded as the symbolic mother of the mestizos. This thesis proposes to analyze the figure of La Malinche as both a historical actor in the Conquest of Mexico and as a myth in the creation of contemporary Mexican national identity. Consequently, this study takes into account the chronicles of the conquerors, later Romantic versions, and contemporary cultural and historiographical studies. This study analyzes the changing image of La Malinche in national discourse, especially following Mexico's independence from Spain and the Mexican Revolution, whereupon Mexicans searched for a national identity. It also analyzes different interpretations of twentieth-century scholars as they attempt to vindicate La Malinche from her myth as traitor. Instead, in these interpretations, La Malinche is seen playing important roles as interpreter, strategist, mediator between two different cultures, and feminist symbol. Finally, I rely on twentieth-century Mexican theater to show how the myth of La Malinche is being used, questioned, and revised on stage in accordance with current historiography and socio-economic conditions in Mexico.
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