Gabriela Mistral's uncharacteristic short stories, which she began writing at the age of fourteen, demonstrate the Chilean poet's need to express violence through the brief narrative genre. Mistral wrote six short stories and in all of them she blurs the boundaries between gender and violence. For the sexes to be defined, Mistral seems to use violence as a means to distinguish them. When women suffer through men's actions, both gender performances become more pronounced and defined: women and men exist precisely because of men's harmful actions. A shift of perspective and agency occurs when men fail to recognize their own behavior and blame women for their fate. Both sexes lose their subjectivity (or sexuality) and become so intertwined that their differences are no longer perceptible. The two stories analyzed in this essay are the first story Mistral wrote, "El perdón de una víctima" and her last, "El rival." In both, Mistral demonstrates her wariness to define a norm for heterosexual relationships, while at the same time, she attempts to discern female difference.

Poco o nada se sabe de los cuentos de la obra mistraliana. De 1904 a 1911, Gabriela Mistral escribió seis cuentos que tienen como enlace el dolor y el desencuentro que existen en las relaciones amorosas entre hombres y mujeres. Estas primeras publicaciones se destacan por su énfasis en delinear las diferencias entre los géneros, empleando la violencia como un modo de distanciar las mujeres de los hombres y al mismo tiempo de destacar las imposibilidades de tener un verdadero amor heterosexual. De igual modo, Mistral trata de cuestionar la división entre los papeles sexuales a través de la violencia del protagonista masculino. Los hombres y mujeres existen a través de la violencia, y cuando ésto se refuta, las diferencias sexuales entre los géneros se mezclan y se borran. Los dos cuentos analizados aquí, "El perdón de una víctima" y "El rival" demuestran al lector cómo Mistral establece una estrategia discursiva para comprender principalmente al sexo femenino.


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