Un Estudio Cultural del Once de Marzo de 2004 a Través de la Literatura y el Cine

by Boswell, Bradley Kyle

Abstract (Summary)
This thesis is a work written in the Spanish language with the goal of coming to a better understanding of the cultural reasons behind the events surrounding the March 11, 2004 bombings in Madrid and their aftermath. In spite of the fact that the author of this work has his own opinions about the attacks, the goal of this thesis is to seek a clearer cultural understanding of the attacks and to set aside the shrill analyses coming from both the left and right extremes of the political debate in the wake of the attacks. In order to complete this analysis, I analyzed several Spanish literary and cinematic works. In the first chapter, I considered the legacy of the Franco years in Spain and how that might have influenced the actions of the Spanish people during the elections that followed the “11-M” attacks. First, I looked into how the Franco regime sharply divided Spanish society and how the bombings amplified that divide by considering Francoist propaganda, such as the movie, Raza, as well as La prima Angélica, directed by Carlos Saura. In La familia de Pascual Duarte, I consider the ideas of fatalism and societal guilt, which may have contributed to why the Spanish public did not seem motivated to remove the Partido Popular from power until the attacks occurred. I then considered the legacy of anti-Americanism in Spain as a factor, by exploring the 1950s classic, ¡Bienvenido, Mr. Marshall!, and how Spanish popular culture has traditionally viewed Americans as violent beings. Finally, I consider the element of the absurd in El tiempo de silencio. In the second chapter, I consider the possibility that postmodernism was a factor in the aftermath of the bombings. The genesis of this chapter originates from the fact that many polls before the March 14, 2004 elections indicated that while the Partido Popular was going to lose seats in the national election, the Spanish electorate was still going to return the conservative party to power in spite of widespread opposition to the war in Iraq. When considering the history of contemporary democracy in Spain, it becomes obvious that there can only be a shift in political power when there is some sort of criminal scandal committed by or linked to the party in power. In 1982, the Socialists gained power after the attempted coup d’état by members of the old Francoist regime. In 1996, the Popularists gained power after the Socialists were involved in a criminal scandal involving GAL. Finally, in 2004, the Socialists regained power as a result of the scandal in which the Popularists lied to the public by trying to blame ETA for the attacks, when Muslim terrorists were responsible. I believe this arises from the fact that the postmodernists voter is not motivated by ideological arguments, and so he must be motivated by scandals which threaten the stability of the government. I explore this in Lo real by Belén Gopegui. Finally, I explore other factors which may have contributed to the reaction of the Spanish people to the bombings. In Tesis, I return to the legacy of Franco to consider how the image in Spanish popular culture of the violent conservative may have influenced Spanish voters. In Las cartas de Alou, I consider the possibility that some voters may have empathized with the immigrants who committed the attacks. Finally, in La pelota vasca: la piel contra la piedra, I consider why the Spanish voter might have differentiated Basque terrorism from Muslim terrorism.
Bibliographical Information:


School:Bowling Green State University

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis



Date of Publication:01/01/2005

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