La felicidad conyugal en la novela espanola del siglo diecinueve: De la obligacion a la libertad
Veci, Mari Carmen
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In the Spanish Realist Novel, the portrayal of marriage from the female perspective has been one of subordination either through the wife's silence or her sacrificial nature as mother and homemaker. She has been in the background, only referred to when she is needed to lend her support to the protagonist. In essence, her identity has been defined by the relationships she has with the men in the novel. On the other hand, marriage has also been seen in a negative light with the emergence in Europe of the literary phenomenon of the novel of adultery, in which women's desires must be kept secret or she will suffer severe consequences. With this study, I have placed together novels which represent marriage as a positive union in which both the husband and the wife are seen as equals. In La hermana San Sulpicio by Armando Palacio Valdés, Pepita Jiménez by Juan Valera, Insolación by Emilia Pardo Bazán, and Tristana by Benito Pérez Galdós, the female protagonist experiences two sentimental relationships, the first with an older and authoritative man. It is a relationship in which she has been obligated to enter by her parents or society, which acts as the paternal figure in this case. In her second sentimental relationship, which culminates in the marriage vow, she freely enters marriage with the partner of her choice, a man who is now her equal. Although she is not completely emancipated, this second marriage is a first step in allowing the female's free will to overpower the patriarchy which subordinates her in her traditional role as wife and mother by allowing her to step into the forefront of the narrative.