Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


Inter-American Studies

First Advisor

Walter A. Payne

First Committee Member

Ruth Marie Faurot

Second Committee Member

Donald M. Decker


Katherine Anne Porter regards Mexico as her "familiar country." lndeed, Mexico in the art of this gifted American writer is more important than generally believed for, as William Nance says, "Mexico entered into her earliest work as both motivating force and subject matter."

Miss Porter has traveled extensively in Mexico and lived there on several occasions. Her highly developed artistic sensibility has allowed her to gain more than a mere familiarity with the country, its inhabitants, and its history. Naturally, her deep knowledge of the culture is reflected in her artistic production, part of which is devoted exclusively to Mexico.

This thesis presents a brief study of Miss Porter's fiction which deals with that country: it attempts to demonstrate a change in the author's perspective of it, evinced in those stories that have Mexico as a setting: namely, it shows how Miss Porter starts out deeply involved with the culture in the stories of ''Maria Concepcion", "The Martyr", and "Virgin Violeta", and how, slowly, the theme of alienation evolves in the stories "Flowering Judas',' "That Tree", and "Hacienda", interpreted as Miss Porter's disillusionment with the failure of the Mexican Revolution.

This study intends to contribute to the field of Inter-American Studies in the sense that it deals directly with inter-cultural relations within the North American continent and with the understanding between cultures, seen through the eyes of a most accomplished writer. If there is a person who could be called truly inter-American, Miss Porter would be the perfect model, because she embodies the ideals of understanding between the different cultures of the North American continent.





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