Theses and Dissertations - UTB/UTPA

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Marci McMahon

Second Advisor

Dr. Margaret Dorsey

Third Advisor

Dr. Robert Johnson


The thesis closely analyzes Arturo Islas’ novel The Rain God (1984) and Rigoberto Gonzalez’s collection of short stories Men Without Bliss (2008) as representations of Mexican American literature that attempt to construct and define masculinity through the actions of male characters. The Rain God, explores the performance of masculinity through the image of the body, similarly to the performance of an actor on a stage. Islas introduces four men who hide, and deny a space for expunging their emotions. Men Without Bliss, showcases the emotions that men suppress and exemplifies their vulnerability as their strength rather than a debilitating characteristic of masculinity, as commonly portrayed in society. Published decades later, each story voices the internal pain that men experience, invites the reader to share the space where the character purges his emotions, thus creating a space of acceptance for their masculinity, tears, pain, homosexuality, and even their hate.


Copyright 2014 Edna Camacho. All Rights Reserved.

Granting Institution

University of Texas-Pan American