‘Discuss Ana María Matute’s use of childrens’ perspective to comment on the adult world’
Ana María Matute is one of the greatest contemporary Spanish novelist and short story writers that survived and experienced the Spanish civil war living through the horrors and the repression of Franco’s dictatorship. Known for her critical approach against Franco regime she used many of her writings to protest against oppression, prejudice and hypocrisy-a reaction to her own experience of the civil war. The beginning of her literary career emerged in 1940s, in a period when the literary censorship has been a major issue for Spanish writers. Matute was part of a ‘wounded generation’ as she describes the times when the literary censorship was tough
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As Matute recounts in her story Los chicos, the families of the prisoners were very harshly treated by villagers. Her experience related to this story-she actually saw how the son of the prison’s administrator beats with brutality a smaller boy- filled her with repulsion and shame ’baje los míos, llena de una vergüenza dolorida’. That was the moment when Matute lost her innocence becoming aware of the prejudice in the world, without any games, just a cruel reality. The same concept is outlined in the story El gran vacio, where the lack of comprehension from kids’ perspective is contrasted with the adult world. Together with childhood, isolation constitutes one of Matute’s fundamental themes. Many of her characters are poor children, orphans’culpables de haber nacido con la maldición bíblica de Cain sobre sus espaldas’. The orphan image in Matute’s work usually emerges as misunderstood, lonely and alienated from society and family.They are hardly ever understood by others and they lack the ability to communicate. Lope’s character, the protagonist of the story Pecado de omisión’ is the vision of the estrangement and alienation of the individual’.
Ana Maria Matute has been and continues to be one of the most talented 20th century novelists in Spain, receiving numerous literary awards, including the Cervantes Award in 1959. Her prose is noted for its sympathy and delicacy, while her writings