Mother-Daughter Relationships in Dreaming in Cuban and Of Women and Salt




Davoren, Riley

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For centuries, Western peoples weaponized ideologies of supremacy to dominate and control non-Western peoples. These ideologies, having reigned for so long, are deeply imbedded within us. We must unsettle the dominance of Western supremacy by unveiling its ideologies in our minds, our stories, and our society. This thesis unveils the presence of Western supremacy and its harmful effects in two Cuban American novels, Dreaming in Cuban by Cristina García and Of Women and Salt by Gabriela Garcia. Both works explore the complex realities of Cuban women, and their entangled mother-daughter relationships: realities composed of political upheaval, violence, impossible choices, familial conflict, love, immigration, legacy, memory, and trauma. A contemporary contrapuntal reading of Dreaming in Cuban and Of Women and Salt, using Ada Ferrer’s Pulitzer-Prize-winning Cuba: An American History, exposes legacies of violence, patriarchy, and silence, and illustrates their effects on the Cuban women of these texts, especially in their complex, nuanced, and sometimes painful mother-daughter relationships.


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Supremacy ideology, Cuban women, Mother-daughter relationships, Political upheaval