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Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


College of the Pacific

First Advisor

Lorraine Knoles


One of the most widely discussed movements of modern Spain is the activity of a literary school usually termed the Generation of '98. The Spanish American War proved to be the final humiliation of a century of political and economic decline in Spain.

A group of young men decided that something must be done to save Spain from crumbling to pieces before their very eyes. They loved their country, and its decline made them heart-sick. They knew something must be done to startle the people and to make them realize that they were no longer living in the Golden Age when Spain was a great power. They wished to make their countrymen look forward and not backward. This group of men were intellectuals. They were novelists, dramatists, critics, publishers, historians, professors, and editors of magazine and newspapers. As we see, they were all men of letters.

Jacinto Benavente was born in Madrid in 1866 and spent the early years of his childhood in this city. Benavente's first important publication was a book of poems imitating for the most part Campoamor and Becquer.2 Benavente also published essays on various subjects. The most interesting of these for the purpose of this study were Cartas de Mujeres, because it shows that Benavente exhibits one of the tendencies of the Generation of '98.

Martinez Sierra is generally considered a member of the Generation of '98

Because of this optimism, Sierra does not deal a great deal with the social and political problems of Spain. He writes simplify of the great masses telling the commonplace happenings of their lives.