Representations of Influences in the Identities of Young Migrant Girls of the Borderlands and their Relationship to Gender, Childhood, and Motherhood



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This thesis seeks to analyze the representations of border-related trauma in contemporary written works. The introductory chapter seeks to set the foundation for this thesis using Gloria Anzaldúa’s Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza (1985) as a means of thinking about the border in terms of womanhood and identity. In Chapter I, I draw from Chicana feminist theory and criticism to read closely Reyna Grande’s 2012 The Distance Between Us, a Memoir. In Chapter II, I turn to Valeria Luiselli’s 2019 fictional piece, Lost Children Archive, as well as her 2017 essay, Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in 40 Questions. By reading across diverse genres, this thesis argues that Chicana writers construct works in which representations of the border’s detrimental effects are shown through narrative and pivot centrally around motherhood. Each writer points to the ways the border specifically complicates the relationship between Chicana identity and traditional notions of motherhood and childhood development.



Anzaldua, Gloria, Undocumented children, Migrant children, Childhood, Motherhood, Gender, Immigration, Young women, Young girls, Grande, Reyna, Luiselli, Valeria, English