Telex From Cuba Themes & Motifs

Rachel Kushner
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Gender Roles and Identity

For the women of Telex from Cuba, conforming to gender roles while maintaining a sense of individual identity creates a difficult dilemma that often forces them to choose between social acceptability and self-realization. Set in the 1950s, the novel is situated immediately before the rise of second-wave feminism and the accompanying change in society’s expectations of femininity, but for the ex-patriot and local women in Cuba, this shift is still an unimaginable possibility. Instead, they have internalized the expectation that they are meant to live their lives for the men and children around them, sacrificing any other their own personal goals in the unending quest to be the perfect wife and mother. However, while the majority of these women are forced to conform to these norms, some women like Rachel K are able to consciously manipulate gender norms to subvert their restrictive...

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This section contains 3,060 words
(approx. 8 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Telex From Cuba Study Guide
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