Analysis of Father/Daughter Relationships in Contemporary Chicana Fiction

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Collins, Rachel
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Father/daughter relationships in Chicana literature are portrayed as rather volatile relationships with the constant portrayal of macho fathers and unruly daughters. Through analyzing a sample of works written by Chicana/Latina authors, the reader can see how a father functions within the home and how he influences the life of his daughter/s. Sandra Cisneros, in The House on Mango Street and Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories, Denise Chavez, in Face of an Angel, Helena Maria Viramontes in The Moths and Other Stories, Cherrie Moraga in Loving in the War Years, and Julia Alvarez in How the Garcia Girls Lost their Accents all portray daughters who struggle to overcome the pressures placed upon them by their fathers or their culture, some successfully breaking away and some falling prey to a machismo cultural system. The three types of father/daughter relationships that seem to be the most prevalent are relationships with macho fathers, relationships ending in the rejection of a father or Latino culture altogether, and relationships able to overcome machismo or cultural expectations resulting in functional relationships. The success of Chicana daughters lies in their ability to successfully negotiate between the borders of being a Chicana and an American, and this success is either made or broken based on the support from their families and the support or lack thereof they receive from their fathers.
American literature -- Mexican American authors -- History and criticism; Mexican American women in literature; Fathers and daughters in literature.