Catalan Review

Finding a Voice of Her Own in La plaça del Diamant

Catalan Review (2011), 25, (1), 211–231.

Abstract

Rodoreda's La plaça del Diamant can be examined as a novel of female development as it depicts the self-realization of a female central character. In this article, I delineate a set of characterizing elements of novels of female development to uncover how the young and obedient Natàlia at the beginning of the novel comes to acquire the voice she possesses at the point of narration. Hindering factors —an oppressive social environment, the absence of the mother, the Svengali-type character, and sexuality— are a set of characterizing elements that the protagonist has to shake off in order to assert herself. Promoting factors —travel, education, (female) mediators, the natural world, rebellion, and shedding— are conditions that the protagonist has to go through to achieve self-realization. By learning to disengage herself emotionally from the hostility orchestrated by patriarchy, the protagonist acquires the strength to overcome those obstacles and maintain her self-integrity.

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Hackbarth, Viktoria