This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Marcos espaciales en "Fortunata y Jacinta" por Benito Perez Galdos




Raducanu, Daniela

Type of Degree



Foreign Languages and Literatures


The purpose of the thesis is to explore the importance of spaces as seen through the perspective of the novel Fortunata y Jacinta, written by Benito Pérez Galdós. What I propose is a study that focuses on a comparison between spaces constructed and determined by social behavior during the XIX century in Spain, seen through Galdós’s novel. From the outset of the novel, Benito Pérez Galdós portrays a realistic and critical representation of Spanish society and its social and gender divisions, by presenting the main characters in both public spaces such as well-known streets of Madrid and private settings such as interiors of houses. In order to analyze the symbolic importance of these spaces, in each chapter first I present different literary theories and discuss their relevance to the novel written by Galdós. The first chapter focuses on public spaces, using the theories of Steve Pile and Henry Lefebvre found in their studies The Body and the City: Psychoanalysis, Space and Subjectivity and respectively Writings on Cities, which emphasize the importance of the city, its buildings and streets in the lives of the persons living there. As an example in Fortunata y Jacinta I trace the image of Madrid and its presence as one of the most important elements in the development of the plot and its characters. The second chapter is dedicated to the analysis of interior spaces in general and of houses in particular, as well as the importance of women in connection with these spaces. The first part of the chapter examines the theory of Bachelard and his study The Poetics of Space in order to provide evidence that details within the house or an interior space can reveal psychological features of an individual or even of a society. The second part of this chapter portrays the image of women in Galdós’s novel using the theory of Daphne Spain, which states that spatial integration can be seen as a route to higher status for women. In general all the women characters from Fortunata y Jacinta are described as confined within the interior of a building. When they desire or succeed in escaping, they lose their status in society. Through the comparison of different types of spaces, both public and private, within the environment of the XIX century Spanish society and Galdós’s novel, I conclude that the extensive descriptions of public and private spaces play a vital role in the development of the main characters.