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Analyse the use of language and popular culture in Carmen Martín Gaite’s El cuarto de atrás and Rosa Montero’s Te trataré como a una reina. How do they influence identity (and specifically gender identity)? Carmen Martin Gaite and Rosa Montero are two female Spanish writers that grew up under the Francoist regime and who where part of the ‘feminist boom’ of Spanish writing that appeared in the ‘transition period’. They concentrated on those traditionally marginalised by society, particularly women. The themes concentrated on female issues such as motherhood, relationships, female relations, power, suppression, societal ideas and most importantly identity. While there was indeed the publishing of many memoirs that dealt with an individual experiences and identity, Montero and Gaite, among others, chose to write books exploring the collective experiences of their generation. They highlight the fact that, while classes and political views may have divided them, they shared a communal experience of life under Franco’s regime and the impact that had on shaping their identity. While female identity is the most explored element of both novel, in neither is the male ignored. In both novels Montero and Gaite employ the use of language and popular culture to illustrate and also subvert different ideas gender identity. Both use elements of language and culture not only to illustrate their influence on gender perception but also to influence and challenge the reader’s understanding of traditional views on gender identity.

In order to understand the role that language and culture has in influencing identity in these novels, it is important to examine the society portrayed in them. Francoist Spain treated women as second class citizens. Enshrined in the constitution was the idea of ‘permiso marital’. Without the husband’s permission, a wife was forbidden to do anything. (C talks about how even interior decorating had to approved first by the husband) She was like his...
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