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Sueño inalcanzable: Dos lecturas de "El hombre dormido" y "El sueño y su eco" de Rosario Ferré.


Summary, in English

This study parts from comparing two different kinds of readings of two short stories publicized under the literary gender fantastic feminism, and written by one of the most well-known authors in this genre, the Puerto-Rican Rosario Ferré. The stories analyzed are “El hombre dormido” (1976) (Man asleep, mi traducción) and “El sueño y su eco” (1976) (Sleep and its echo, mi traducción) given the similarities between them regarding the relationship between women and men, and the fact that both have the presence of ‘sleep’ in them. The purpose of this thesis is to study and compare two possible readings of the stories, one more basic and textual interpretation; and another deeper interpretation, having the writer’s past in mind and searching and analyzing symbols from a different perspective than the most obvious one at first sight, therefore making the stories to been seen as allegories.

The hypothesis that guides the author of this thesis is that beyond the literal interpretation of “Man asleep”, seen with a feminist approach, the story can be read as if it’s a woman painting a self-portrait of herself as a man. In the other short story, “Sleep and its echo”, the assumption is that you can read allegorically as the transition from life to death. These are the hypothesis that are attempting to get verified in this thesis with the help of quotations from the stories to reinforce the ideas given, and using comparison of the previously mentioned interpretations as a method. Since both stories covered in this thesis are written by the same author, there are similarities between the two, therefore this thesis searches for similarities within the literary genre fantastic feminism, and what leads to that interpretation. Another resemblance worth of analyzing is: what meaning does the dream have in each short story? Besides, the question of why "Man asleep" is written in masculine emerges, so therefore the reason for this will be analyzed.

The detailed analysis of both stories has lead to the answer to the hypothesis, concluding that both tales contain a social critique of patriarchal systems. An example of this critique is precisely the fact that “Man asleep” is narrated in masculine. There’s also been found a parallel between dream/sleep and death in both stories.


Publishing year




Document type

Student publication for Bachelor's degree


  • Languages and Literatures


  • Rosario Ferré
  • “El sueño y su eco”
  • “El hombre dormido”
  • fantastic feminism
  • feminist reading
  • patriarchal systems
  • social criticism
  • dream
  • death. Palabras clave: Rosario Ferré
  • fantástico feminista
  • lectura feminista
  • sistemas patriarcales
  • denuncia social
  • sueño
  • muerte.


  • Ingela Johansson