Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Linda Belau

Second Advisor

Dr. Ed Cameron

Third Advisor

Dr. Cathryn Merla-Watson


An exploration of female archetypes that examines their display and representation in Mexican American and Japanese folklore. The study ties the two cultures together for the purpose of juxtaposing an older and younger culture utilizing folklore in similar ways of control over women’s narratives. It examines how a patriarchal culture’s folklore provides punishments through the medium of storytelling for transgressive or deviant women. When women act outside of their preferred archetypes or behavior in folklore, they are met with severe narrative consequences. The archetypes discussed in this thesis, “La Virgen Armada and the Final Girl,” “The Bride,” “The Sacrilegious Mother,” “The Witch and La Mujer Loca,” and “The Femme Fatale,” are analyzed as didactic functions that perpetrate patriarchal notions of female identity outside of folklore. Film is treated as a natural extension of storytelling, and observed in the thesis as a modern mechanism of performing the same functions of surveillance and control.


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