Latina women have been made to believe that their lives and desires are always secondary to the needs of men and children. As a result, many women have developed a martyr complex wherein the measure of their value is how much suffering they can endure in service to their family. There is subsequently a culture of self-sacrifice best exemplified by the archetype known as "la sufrida." This thesis explores the sufrida role in literature while using the history of the author's mother—a woman whose life can be "read" as that of a real sufrida— as a bridge between literature and reality. This thesis discusses works of prominent Latinx and Caribbean women writers such as Judith Ortiz Cofer and Nicholasa Mohr and further analyzes the social and religious constraints that instill self-sacrificial mentalities in women. Through the use of womanist and cultural criticisms, this thesis highlights the complex social paradigms that cause so many Latinas to internalize self-limiting thinking patterns. The author's goal is to expose the sufrida role as valueless for contemporary women.
Rodriguez Milanes, Cecilia
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
English and Spanish
Gil, Meleena, "La Sufrida: An Analysis of the Social and Literary Archetype" (2019). Honors Undergraduate Theses. 489.