Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Modern Languages and Literatures

First Advisor

William Garcia




Cuba, family, playwright, Puerto Rico


This project investigates the dramatic works La carreta (1953) by René Marqués and Noche cubana (2009) by José Luis García Rodríguez to analyze the playwrights’ utilization of the family to represent the conditions of their respective nations. La carreta describes a Puerto Rican family during the island’s transition to a Commonwealth of the United States. Marqués uses the disintegration of the family to show his opposition to Puerto Rico’s colonial status and dependency on the United States. The struggles of the family in La carreta also express Marqués’ condemnation of Puerto Rico’s industrialization and abandonment of agrarian society. Noche cubana conveys a modern Cuban family that faces the challenges of the nation’s Special Period in Time of Peace in the 1990’s. A consequence of the Cuban Revolution, the United States embargo and the fall of the Soviet Union led to this socioeconomic recession. García Rodríguez shows his indictment of the Cuban family’s desperate, immoral actions in order to survive in the worsening economy through the characters of Noche cubana. The desperation and disintegration of the family in the drama mirror García Rodríguez’s disaffection for Cuba and its contemporary social values and politics. Both playwrights create these dramas to illustrate their perspectives on the conditions of their nation during a time of transformation. An analysis of these dramatic works shows that the families are not inherently dysfunctional, but rather the effects of their nation’s socioeconomic and political changes are the cause their demise. This study explores how the challenges the family faces represent those of the nation and how the dramas function as a medium for the playwrights to convey their opinions and manipulate their audience’s opinion about the state of their respective nation.