This paper examines three fictional spiritual communities situated within the historical frame of the so called three waves of feminism, with their emphasis on women’s right to education and political participation, women’s struggle for personal independence and interaction of women from different social and cultural settings. Its focus is on the connections and disconnections between the city’s modern culture and the traditionally oriented rural areas, as well as on the sexual exploitation of women. In Clorinda Matto de Turner’s 1889’s Aves sin nido Lucía, from Lima, builds a spiritual community of indigenous and mestiza women in the small town of Kíllac. Its aim is to preserve the family from the patriarchal corruption of church and state; however, the compassionate but hierarchical enligthenment that comes from the city must go back to the city. In Elena Poniatowska’s 1969’s Hasta no verte Jesús mío Jesusa, a traditional woman from a small town in southwestern Mexico, encounters a new spirituality in a messianic community in Mexico City. However, it fails to provide her the freedom of modern institutions and the comfort of traditional support networks she seeks as a migrant to the city. In Laura Restrepo’s 1995’Dulce compañía Mona, a journalist, finds a new spirituality created by a group of women from a slum around a supposed angel in the outskirts of Bogotá. She becomes part of a community in which it momentarily becomes possible to find harmonic intersections across the borders of an urban area. Ultimately, the extreme idealization of the city during the first wave of feminism gives way to its utter vilification during the second wave; in contrast, the third wave points to a merging of modern and traditional values of human solidarity under the leadership of women’s spiritual networks.
Sanchez-Mora, Elena, "Redes espirituales femeninas en tres novelas de autoras latinoamericanas: intersecciones ciudad/periferia a través de una lente histórica feminista" (2021). Hispanic Studies Faculty Publications. 18.