Title

Beyond the Beauty Myth: Love through Subjugation in Carta de amor by Benedetti

Subject Area

Spanish American Studies

Abstract

After the industrial revolution, middle class women had to combat new ways of control in the Western hemisphere. Although women were finally able to compete in the job market and achieve their material independence, they were however, now trapped by another form of subjugation, one that defined a women’s worth by her appearance. The beauty standard expected the majority of women to emulate the European ideal of female beauty; hence a beautiful woman was solely blond, tall, young, and thin. These stereotypes negatively influenced women’s self-esteem. In this paper, I will analyze a short story in the form of a letter called “Una carta de amor”, by the Uruguayan author Mario Benedetti. In this letter, the author attempts to convince a woman to be in a relationship with him. However, instead of promising his love, the letter with the use of evocative and seductive language, he insults and degrades the woman he attempts to endear. I will argue that Benedetti’s ironic and sarcastic language that emphasizes the physical appearance of women is a new form of subjugation of women in the modern society. Further, I will conclude that the letter’s author lacks confidence and therefore, attempts to convince a woman to have a relationship with him by lowering her self-esteem to match his own low self-esteem.

Note: the presentation will be in Spanish.

Brief Bio Note

Dr. Adriana Primo-Vincent holds a PhD (2008) and a Master’s degree (2006) in Spanish Literature from the University at Buffalo. She also has a Bachelor degree in Spanish Education (2003) from Buffalo State College and a bachelor degree in Economic Science from UFPE, Brazil (1990). Dr. Primo-Vincent’s extensive research on Brazilian and Peninsular Literature and culture has enabled her to present at many national and International conferences. Additionally, she has some articles accepted for publication.

Keywords

Women, Beauty, Oppression

Location

Room 218

Presentation Year

2015

Start Date

3-26-2015 9:00 AM

End Date

3-26-2015 10:15 AM

Embargo

5-23-2017

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Mar 26th, 9:00 AM Mar 26th, 10:15 AM

Beyond the Beauty Myth: Love through Subjugation in Carta de amor by Benedetti

Room 218

After the industrial revolution, middle class women had to combat new ways of control in the Western hemisphere. Although women were finally able to compete in the job market and achieve their material independence, they were however, now trapped by another form of subjugation, one that defined a women’s worth by her appearance. The beauty standard expected the majority of women to emulate the European ideal of female beauty; hence a beautiful woman was solely blond, tall, young, and thin. These stereotypes negatively influenced women’s self-esteem. In this paper, I will analyze a short story in the form of a letter called “Una carta de amor”, by the Uruguayan author Mario Benedetti. In this letter, the author attempts to convince a woman to be in a relationship with him. However, instead of promising his love, the letter with the use of evocative and seductive language, he insults and degrades the woman he attempts to endear. I will argue that Benedetti’s ironic and sarcastic language that emphasizes the physical appearance of women is a new form of subjugation of women in the modern society. Further, I will conclude that the letter’s author lacks confidence and therefore, attempts to convince a woman to have a relationship with him by lowering her self-esteem to match his own low self-esteem.

Note: the presentation will be in Spanish.