Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis


Comparative Literature

First Advisor

María C. Mabrey

Second Advisor

Frederica K. Clementi


In this thesis, the notion of women being used as tools of modern catharsis is explored through the comparative analysis of the Spanish novel Soldiers of Salamis (2001) by Javier Cercas, and the American novel The Things They Carried (1990) by Tim O’Brien. The two novels, separated by linguistic and national traditions, and personal choices by each author, will both be evaluated for their unique postmodern treatments of war, memory, and verisimilitude. Expanding from this base and through an application of feminist theory, the female representations—which are partly crafted by an unconscious masculine language—will be deconstructed for their intended and unintended rhetorical impact. Combined with an examination of the cinematic interpretations of the novels’ salient characters, this application of feminist theory hopes to illuminate problematic representations of women created by authors whom also deliberately write novels which contain an egalitarian message of healing.