Gender Roles In La Desheredada

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Benito Perez Galdós in his novel “La desheredada” was concerned with providing a comprehensive representation of the urbanized society of Madrid at the end of 19th century. His main concern in situating this novel in the Spanish capital must lie in the fact that its dense population brought together different layers of the Spanish society in face of aristocracy, putting the petit bourgeois and the underclass into proximity to one another. Due to the strict class division, this paper will examine how the opportunities differ for the upper social classes to the lower ones, and how their property rights in this unequal society depends on their birthright merits, and not the meritocracy. The very title of the novel ‘the disinherited’ links to the…show more content…
Although Isidora does everything possible to approach herself and her son to the high social position, they won’t obtain this right as Galdós shows, due to their genetic inheritance and poor origins. Furthermore, the writer examines the property rights related to the condition of women in the Spanish society of that time. A lack of relevant and progressive middle class led to the high rates of female illiteracy contributed to the inequality of status of Spanish women in society. The Catholic Church had a serious impact on the genders inequality promoting the discrimination of the women and their role as a mother and wife only. Women had an effort to promote their educational development and fought for the right to vote. This same fight for equality was mirrored in other European countries, the Suffrage movement in Britain being another example of an increasing awakening of women’s rights. At no stage in the novel does the narrator state that Isidora’s claims have no foundation, in fact as she begins to lose all hope of ever attaining her goal he defends her even more. The outcome of the lawsuit looks extremely grim, yet the narrator writes: “She was noble by birth, and even if she weren’t, her great beauty, her figure, her rarified taste, her affinity for everything elegant and superior would be enough to grant her a

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