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Author ORCID Identifier



Open Access Dissertation

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program

Hispanic Literatures & Linguistics

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

Luis A. Marentes

Subject Categories

Latin American Languages and Societies


This dissertation focuses on the life and works of the committed Salvadoran author Manlio Argueta. It traces pertinent themes in four of his novels, El valle de las hamacas (1969), Caperucita en la zona roja (1978), Milagro de La Paz (1994), and Siglo de O(g)ro (1997). This project traces how Argueta's representation of violence markedly transitions from a mimetic representation of violence that appeals to the senses and raises awareness of the exacerbating circumstances to a subdued and psychological representation of the consequences of the violence in the face of new violence and changing panoramas. It highlights three major moments of El Salvador’s history that directly impacted the life and career of Manlio Argueta and other artists of his generation: La Matanza, the takeover of the University, and the Civil War. Argueta survived the initial periods of violence of the sixties and seventies and lived the entire Civil War period from afar. He had the time and distance needed to zoom out of the daily confrontations with violence in order to view and represent the circumstances from a different viewpoint. His exile allowed him to write with a distanced perspective of El Salvador and include different groups in his imagery of the nation. Argueta’s writing has developed with him and with the Salvadoran society.