The social construction of motherhood is a universal theme that is significant in all societies. This book shows how the social institutions of work, politics, sex, religion and psychology provide definitions of what a mother should be and how the works of Lucía Etxebarria reflect the changes in Spanish society regarding motherhood.
This book investigates the perceptions of motherhood in Spanish author Lucía Etxebarria’s fiction and offers views of the importance of motherhood in society. Traditional expectations for women as mothers persist despite the fact that they no longer match Spain’s cultural and economic reality. These issues of gender equality and societal perceptions stand out in the novels and screenplays of Etxebarria. Her work at times resists and at times affirms patriarchal constructs associated with traditional Spanish motherhood, and ultimately, I argue, enacts the very complexity of contemporary Spanish motherhood ideals. By showing the tension between the past constructs of the mother and the possible future outcomes of gender equality, Etxebarria’s works navigate the complexity between past and future, illuminating the current and future uncertainties and the ambivalent nature of change. Each chapter views motherhood from a different perspective and focuses on particular works of Etxebarria. Through the depiction of a variety of mother characters, these different perspectives, as showcased in Etxebarria’s narratives, together compose an understanding of Spanish maternal identity.
Note on Translations
Introduction: What It Means to Be A Mother
Chapter 1: What is a Mother Anyway? The Social Construction of Maternal Identity
Chapter 2: Blaming the Mother: The Mother/Child Relationship
Chapter 3: Motherhood and Religion in Lo verdadero es un momento de lo falso
Chapter 4: What Makes a Mother: Motherhood and Sexuality
Chapter 5: The Missing Link: Debunking Maternal Myths
Chapter 6: Mother Love: Maternal Absence and Its Effects
Conclusion: What Does Mother Have to Do With It?
About the Author