Document Type


Date of Degree Completion

Fall 2016

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


English Literature

Committee Chair

Christine Sutphin

Second Committee Member

Christopher Schedler

Third Committee Member

Laila Abdalla


Chicana literature to date has extensively illustrated the process of identity construction—the development of mestiza consciousness—as the means through which Mexican American females may thwart the agents of oppressive patriarchal authority in their lives. While this highly theoretical and politicized literature has contributed greatly to discussions of identity, agency, and the subjective self, many Chicana authors and activists express concerns regarding the fate of the Chicana/o collective. Some consider the relationship between feminist Chicanas and their more traditional families and communities to be irreconcilable. Using the theories of Gloria Anzaldúa, I argue that the novels So Far from God and The Guardians by Ana Castillo address these concerns regarding the relationship between feminist Chicanas and other members of their home communities. Through unique representations of male characters, of Catholicism, and of socially/politically active Chicanas, these novels demonstrate the importance for inclusive methodologies that bridge across societally constructed divides, in order to create positive change for all.