Date of Award


Document Type

Union College Only

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Spanish and Hispanic Studies

First Advisor

Victoria Martínez




domestic violence, spousal abuse, intimate partner violence, Mexico, La Genara, machismo, patriarchy, gender, marriage, spanish


There is a disconcerting lack of scholarly research about domestic violence within the Mexican upper middle class, despite the fact that relationship violence impacts all populations regardless of income or education level. This gap in information perpetuates the stigma that this problem is specific to poor or uneducated communities and does not affect the “civilized” elite. With the 1998 publication of La Genara, Rosina Conde was one of the first authors to approach domestic violence among Mexican elite. This epistolary novel takes fiction where academic studies have failed to go. By giving a voice to victims and deftly illustrating commonly hidden struggles, Conde breaks down stigmas about domestic violence and proves that it is a problem that crosses social and economic barriers despite an oppressive silence. In this article, I illustrate the specific ways La Genara fills the gaps in scholarly research by demonstrating how, through a work of fiction, Conde affirms that domestic violence among the Mexican elite is a reality otherwise ignored. Conde skillfully engages with numerous relevant themes frequently connected to domestic violence including socioeconomic status, education, gender dynamics, family relationships, and mental health. As a result, Conde has constructed a work of fiction that simultaneously breaks down stereotypes and reflects real life experiences of abuse.