Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Honors Thesis


Modern Languages

First Advisor

Terri Carney

Second Advisor

Brynnar Swenson


How have women learned to rebel creatively against male-dominated political structures when their public voices are silenced? How has literature aided in feminist rhetoric and helped to protest the patriarchy? In 1987, Carmen Martín Gaite created the term “chica rara” to describe female protagonists in novels who revolted against their gendered positions in society. Women of Spain have faced severe repression of identity due to the Franco regime; however, his oppressive ideologies helped to produce a rich history in feminist protest through literature from Spanish authors who I would argue are real-life chicas raras, because they rejected their traditional roles in society through their writing. I have done a comparative historical and literary study of four female authors- Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Concha Méndez, Carmen Martín Gaite, and Ana Rossetti. Sor Juana lived and wrote during the 17th Century and creates a framework for the other three authors who lived and wrote before, during, and after the Franco regime in Spain. Although each woman lived in a different time, wrote on varying subject matters, and had a unique life experience, they all revolt against their gendered positions in society through their literary accomplishments. These women help give context to modern Western feminism, as their ideologies reflect upon vanguard feminist philosophy and rhetoric. Thus, I have also included my own philosophical analysis and reactions to each of their works in a creative-political pause between my analysis of each author