Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor's Name

Dr. Maria A. Gomez

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee chair

Second Advisor's Name

Dr. Santiago Juan Navarro

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Third Advisor's Name

Dr. Andrea Fanta

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Dr. Ana M. Bidegain

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member


Gender violence, Contemporary Hispanic Literature

Date of Defense



Violence against women is a worldwide social problem that is far from being eradicated. Sociologists and psychologists have studied this complex issue rooted in the unbalanced distribution of power between the sexes and writers have portrayed it in their works since the Middle Ages to present. This dissertation provides a comparative study of recent representations of male violence in fictional and non-fictional works produced in different Hispanic countries. The works analyzed include: Icíar Bollaín´s film Te doy mis ojos (2003); recent documentaries such as Home Truth (2017) and Las tres muertes de Maricela Escobedo (2021); shortfilms like Disonancia (2005) and El orden de las cosas (2010); Juana Escabias´s plays Cartas de amor… después de una paliza and WhatsApp (2018); and novels like Algún amor que no mate (1996) by Dulce Chacón and Cien botellas en la pared (2003) by Ena Lucia Portela.

This study explores how media and fictional works portray the interplay of psychological and social factors that contribute to the cycle of violence and victimization. Furthermore, it exposes the trope of romanticized violence, the erotization of the battered female body, and it critiques portrayals of physical or psychological cruelty that encourages readers to feel pity, horror, or even sexual attraction towards characters that suffer abuse. Finally, this dissertation includes works more interested in resistance than in capitulation, where characters immersed in victimization find new alternatives that offer different paths to autonomy within various social constraints. These works provide models for real women who need to abandon a victim and neurosis mentality and move towards agency.





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