Date of Award


Document Type

Union College Only

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Modern Languages and Literatures

First Advisor

Christina Henseler




films, myth, cinema, fairy tales, roles, psychology


Written in Spanish, this thesis explores the perpetuation and deviation of traditional gender roles in fairy tales through contemporary Spanish cinema. It is important to note that myths and sagas create subcategories of fairy tales, which maintain the same original purpose of the tale. Such stories were originally told as precautionary tales, which guided and taught people of earlier times how to act and what the outcome of such actions could be. Within these tales appear traditional stereotyped gender roles such as the brave man who will save the helpless woman. I explore the different fairy tales, in which gender roles are perpetuated and compare them with contemporary Spanish films in which the male and female protagonists both conform and deviate from their traditional roles. I analyze the films Te doy mis ojos (2003) by Icíar Bollaín and ¡Átame! (1990) by Pedro Almodóvar. Each film explores the changing role of the female protagonist in the presence of an abusive male. These changes in gender roles include the new ways in which the man exercises his control over the woman, the disruption of the traditional stereotype of the woman and subsequent lack of the typical happy ending. I examine these changes through an analysis of behavior and past experiences of the protagonists in conjunction with the psychology that explains their motives.