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Scholarly Horizons: University of Minnesota, Morris Undergraduate Journal

Abstract

This paper explores the social changes, divisions, and hierarchies that are present in Antonia Palacios’ novel Ana Isabel, una niña decente (1949). Employing Marxist Literary Theory as a basis for investigation and analysis, the paper illustrates the complexities of class and race, ultimately demonstrating how these two concepts are both intimately related and interdependent. As a result of the transition from feudalism to capitalism within Venezuelan society, longstanding traditions of social status and power are threatened, leading some to attempt to manipulate social structures concerning class and race in order to preserve family prestige. The parents of the novel’s main character, Ana Isabel, utilize a variety of strategies that manipulate the realities of class and race, and the result is Ana Isabel’s gradual but defeating loss of innocence.

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