Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award

January 2017

Degree Type


Degree Name



Classical and Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures

First Advisor

Francisco J. Higuero


The detective series of Petra Delicado published by the contemporary Spanish writer, Alicia Giménez Bartlett presents the individual characters in a changing, complex and fragmented society. The emphasis is placed on the special circumstances that lead the characters to become the victim. The facts presented in this study, demonstrate that the character's ability to change their unfavorable circumstance are not due to the lack of agency or unwillingness. In some cases, the circumstances in which the individual is borne, places limited to their access to resources. In others, the characters in position of power manipulate others individual's circumstance to their advantage. These two facts, added to the indifference of society, make it difficult for the individual to change his/her situation. The emphasis in the victim's circumstance, consider the impact that society and social institutions exert upon their members. Therefore, in the narrative of Giménez Bartlett themes such as image, marginality, discrimination, indifference toward the suffering and harms done to others are revisited with much frequency. The idea that each individual is a stranger to themselves and that each has a moral duty toward others, are used to encourage the reflection upon those less fortunate. Parallel to these subjects, the mains characters are troublesome with existence, time and death. The passing of time, results in the loss of beauty and the strength of youth. The daily confrontation with death presents them with the unavoidable ending of their existence. The anguish and fears experiences by the characters toward the uncertainty of the future are frequently expressed in intradiegetic conversations and monologues. Those experiences are dealt with different behaviors or when there is no apparent way out, resorting to suicide as the only solution.