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The representation of women in the novel Sab
For many generations, women have been put as a being inferior to man because in many cultures it is considered physical and mentally weak. In the nineteenth century, the woman was mostly restricted to the work of the home, to devote her body and soul to her husband and children and to serve God. Obviously, there was the socioeconomic difference and the women belonging to the low society had to work hard to subsist. In the novel Sab you can see the socioeconomic contrast between female characters. Carlota, her mother, Teresa and Martina are simply some women who represent female slavery in Cuban society of that time and that Avellaneda does not hesitate to denounce so many abuse in her novel.
Carlota’s character represents the woman of high society. According to Margalida Socías article, romanticism projects the woman always linked to sentimentality and the passion of love feeling. The young Carlota is worthy example of this female figure because Carlota is a romantic total, full of emotions, with a lot of sensitivity and a great spirit. "Carlota was in that dangerous age in which the heart feels more lively the need to love, and was also naturally tender and impressionable". Although she is beautiful, loving and loved, Carlota is seen as an economic object that the Otway plan to obtain through Carlota and Enrique’s marriage to keep her debts afloat. She has no idea that she is being used by the OTWAY and that her great marriage is not for love, but by advantage. "A merchant, Enrique, I have told you a hundred times, marries a woman the same thing that is associated with a partner, for speculation, for convenience". Poor rich young girl is like a slave of society who uses women as if it were "one more element of her business assets". The convenience was the key to a good business or a good marriage in the nineteenth century and the words of Don Jorge Otway only corroborate it: “He looked at the richest heirs in the country and thought he saw in Carlota de B … the woman whoIt suited his calculations ".
In the nineteenth century "a series of school programs and publications were developed to ensure that the angels of the home could correctly educate their descendants" in order to promote the raising of good citizens. The great ladies of society were the examples to follow;They did charity in the community and a good example is Carlota’s mother who, along with Don Carlos, welcomes the poor orphan of Teresa and are part of her family. Carlota’s mother was a good woman and good feelings. "That soul was all tenderness!". In the second chapter, La Avellaneda describes that Mrs. de B was the best of mothers and a great protector of Teresa.
In contrast to Carlota, there is Teresa who is a marginalized character and her childhood consisted of abuse of her father and her stepmother. When they were orphaned, the lords of B welcomed her and took care of her. His childhood marked her and growing next to the beautiful and beloved Carlota bitter her life. "What can afflict you? […] Leave tears for the poor orphan, without wealth, without beauty, to which no one asks for love, nor offers happiness!". Because Teresa does not have a great surname or anything of economic value, the same society is responsible for marginalizing it and makes it invisible in the eyes of men looking for a good marriage. She was aware of this, because on page 252, Teresa leaves a letter for CarlotWhat can I aspire in this world ".
Martina’s character is the most marginalized and miserable. She is a poor old woman of about sixty years who lives in a poor hut with a broken heart in a thousand pieces for the death of her son, her daughter -in -law and her two grandchildren. The only reason he had to live was Luis, the last grandson he had left. Despite her great poverty, Martina had a big heart because she was eternally grateful to Sab for having saved Luis from a horrible fire. Sab asked Martina to welcome him as her son since she had lost her own and Sab was an orphan and asked for a mother’s love: “I am also an orphan like Luis, be my mother, admit me for your son. -Yes, I admit you – I replied raising my tremulous hands to heaven. He knelt at my feet and in the presence of the sky I adopted him from that moment on my son ”.
Despite the physical and socioeconomic differences, the four women are the symbol of which women in the society of the nineteenth century. We have the great ladies of society, the women of the middle and low class. It should be noted that Avellaneda disappears the differences of social status between them and describes them as simple women who are human and capable of loving;Very recurring quality in romanticism. However, having a good heart did not serve the woman because she was still a victim and slave of macho society. Of course in Saba’s letter to Teresa: “Oh!, women! Poor and blind victims! Like slaves, they patiently drag their chain and lower their heads under the yoke of human laws. Without another guide than your ignorant heart."