El hombre caido y el angel masculino en la literatura peninsular del siglo XIX
The Graduate School, Stony Brook University: Stony Brook, NY.
This dissertation examines two previously unexplored concepts in Spanish nineteenth-century culture, those of the fallen man and the male angel. It explores these two categories in canonical texts such as Tormento (1884), Fortunata y Jacinta (1886-7), and Tristana (1892) by Benito P??rez Gald??s; Dulce y Sabrosa (1891) by Jacinto Octavio Pic??n, Los Pazos de Ulloa (1886) by Emilia Pardo Baz? n; and La Regenta (1884) and Su ??nico hijo (1891) by Leopoldo Alas "Clar?Án". During the nineteenth century, two of the more common terms applied specifically to women-- `angel in the house' and `fallen woman' -- raise the question whether there were male analogues to these figures and, if so, how they are treated narratively. This dissertation argues for the existence of similar male figures and explores their common characteristics differentiating them from their female counterparts. The main conclusion of the study is that men also "fall" by breaking the laws imposed on them by society and that there are consequences. Three categories of fallen men are analyzed according to their status in relation to women and sexuality: the so called "calaveras" or single men who act like donjuanes, adulterous men, and fallen priests. Just as in the case of fallen women, these men are punished for their transgressions, and interact with other characters who serve as their advisors in order to rehabilitate them, although some of the reprobates will not succeed in this journey of moral regeneration. The figure of male angel is also explored since most of the characteristics associated with the female angel of the house are present in her male counterparts: kindness, abnegation, patience, lack of sexual desire, respect for matrimony as a holy institution, and paternal instincts. However, the main difference between male and female figures are the negative connotations implied in the male angel, who does not seem to be expected to act as a model to follow by the rest of men. Finally, this study also focuses on the role and attitude of narrators with regard to fallen men, examining how they react to both the characters' transgressions and their punishments. Significantly some narrators will dismiss the moral flaws of their characters while others are strongly critical of the behavior of the fallen angel.