Faculty Publications

Title

Family bonds that ensnare and empower: Dementia as identity formation in elvira Lindo's una palabra tuya

Document Type

Article

Keywords

Caregivers, Dementia, Elvira Lindo, Family, Identity, Procreation, Una palabra tuya

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Hispania

Volume

101

Issue

1

First Page

114

Last Page

124

Abstract

Elvira Lindo's novel Una palabra tuya (2005) explores the ways in which shifting familial roles affect the identity of individual family members, highlighted by Encarnación and Rosario's changing mother/daughter relationship, which is impacted by dementia. This debilitating illness converts the roles of parent and child to those of patient and caregiver, testing and refining both women's senses of identity and place within the family. As the sociological theory of narrative inheritance suggests, Rosario finds herself indelibly marked by her mother's past and present life. The demands placed upon Rosario by her mother's dementia alter power dynamics between the two, often infantilizing Encarnación while empowering Rosario, whose increased agency is complicated by feelings of guilt and entrapment. Mother and daughter's experience of the life/death cycle compels Rosario to seek out a deeper understanding of her sexuality and desire to procreate. Una palabra tuya reveals how the intricacies of a mother/daughter relationship is affected by dementia, reiterating the family's ability to either ensnare or empower its members.

Original Publication Date

3-1-2018

DOI of published version

10.1353/hpn.2018.0088

Repository

UNI ScholarWorks, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa

Language

en

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