The Power of Two: Mothers and Daughters in El Caribe
Antonia Garcia-Rodriguez, PhD; Maria Antonia Rodriguez, PhD

Relational psychology recognizes the importance of relationships as the central organizing feature in women’s healthy development. The relationship between mothers and daughters in the Spanish-speaking Caribbean (Cuba, Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico) is examined through the use of the novel, a reflection of society. Relational psychology will analyze the mother/daughter relationship in three novels: “Dreaming in Cuban” by Cristina Garcia, “How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accent” by Julia Alvarez, and “The Ladies’ Gallery: A Memoir of Family Secrets” by Irene Vilar. These novels are characterized by a sense of loss that surrounds the women: loss of “patria”, loss of mother, and loss of language. The context of ambivalence and conflict that Latina mothers and daughters face is explored, as well as how redefining the mother / daughter relationship in light of these issues can impact their growth.

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