Forms of hybrid identity and first person narratives
Buteler, María José
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This research paper has two axes of analysis: the protagonists‘ construction of a hybrid identity, and the choice of a hybrid genre by the authors to reflect the identity of the protagonists who narrate their life stories. The House on Mango Street (1984) by Sandra Cisneros shows how Esperanza Cordero fights to accept her identity as a MexicanAmerican woman. In Breath, Eyes, Memory. A Novel (1994) by Edwidge Danticat, Sophie, Haitian-American, tries to adapt herself to a new culture and traditions without leaving aside the culture and traditions passed on by her mother. Finally, in The Woman Warrior. Memoirs of a Girlghood among Ghosts (1981) by Maxine Hong Kingston, its protagonist, a Chinese-American woman attempts to understand her true identity living in a culture which wants to erase her Chinese traditions. The three protagonists construct hybrid identities and can only accept them when they accept their interculturality and can ride on two cultures. At the same time, the three female protagonists tell their life stories in an attempt to build their identities and to make sense of their present. The construction of their hybrid identities is manifested in the choice of a hybrid genre, a mixture of the genres of the autobiography, the novel, and the autofiction. The three novels of the corpus transform, in a way, the autofiction by borrowing some elements of the autobiography and the novel; the choice of this hybrid genre can be considered a narrative strategy to reflect the hybrid identities of the protagonists.
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