The power of words in Denisa Chavez's Face of an Angel

Amaia Ibarrarán Bigalondo

Abstract

The last two decades have witnessed the emergence of the Chicana voice, a voice that has struggled to rewrite her story in order to reinterpret the atrophied archetypes manifest in the male stories and Literature. Retelling her true story, the Chicana heals the wound that has kept her voiceless and paralyzed. Storytelling, thus, becomes powerful medicine for her, and an appropriate means of shaping an identity that has been silent and transparent throughout the ages. Denise Chavez's Face of an Angel, published in 1994, chronicles the story of Soveida Dosamantes, a woman who chooses the tell her life-story in order to assert herself in her roots and identity, which has been strongly influenced by the constant, powerful presence of women around her. The novel pays homage to the women in the author's and the main protagonist's families, who, even though denied the right to speak publicly, have perfectly fulfilled the role of cultural bearers for the community and have, at the same time, understood and transmitted the need to raise their voice and fight for an active feminine role within their group, in a bid to demystify the colonized image of the Chicana.

Keywords

Chávez, Denise; Face of an Angel; Literatura chicana; Identidad femenina; Personajes femeninos



DOI: https://doi.org/10.14198/raei.2000.13.07

Copyright (c) 2000 Amaia Ibarrarán Bigalondo

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