Date of Award


Document Type

Union College Only

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Modern Languages and Literatures




caribbean, febres, marginality, santos, marginalized


This thesis explores the issue of marginality in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean following the period of western expansionism during the years 1493 and 1898. As a result of colonial imperialism, the economic and social structure of the Caribbean was completely transformed. Consequently, less fortunate individuals were outcast from mainstream Caribbean societies, and forced to live in horrendous and inhumane conditions. The conflict of marginality has long been a popular theme in Caribbean literature. Nevertheless, the voice of Mayra Santos-Febres, a strong, black, Puerto Rican woman, brings a contemporary perspective to the evils of marginality. Although each Caribbean island is extremely unique, Santos-Febres unites the islands by demonstrating their shared tribulations caused by marginality. Additionally, Santos-Febres presents mechanisms and tools that marginalized individuals utilize in order to survive their unfit world. Within the large community that is marginalized, there are also alternative groups or communities that are formed to create support systems. Through her novels, Sirena Selena vestida de pena (2000) and Cualquier miércoles soy tuya (2002), Santos-Febres portrays the hardships of the Caribbean people cast into marginalized shadows, and demonstrates the means by which they survive.