Iphigenia, The Diary of a Young Lady Who Wrote Because She Was Bored

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Expression and Repression in Parra’s Iphigenia, The Diary of a Young Lady Who Wrote Because She Was Bored

Like Ruby, Iphigenia uses water imagery to dramatize her feelings and fantasies. But she also turns to the river to express her wants and desires because she cannot do so freely in her Venezuelan home.

After the death of her father, María Eugenia leaves Venezuela and her best friend Christina, to visit friends of the family in Paris. In Paris she experiences a sense of freedom that she has never known before, walking the streets alone, going to operas, and dressing as she pleases. But when she gets back to Caracas to live with her aunt and grandmother, she becomes bored, feels imprisoned, and finds out that her Uncle Eduardo
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For example, she writes of her love for Gabriel in terms of a thirst. While water is equated with self-expression, dryness is associated with repression. For example, after María Eugenia jilts Gabriel, she explains that she is left in the desert. But where María Eugenia succeeds in expressing herself as if “the sea were ink and the beaches paper,” she fails to change her life according to her desires. Water, the green-world token, catalyzes María Eugenia’s transformational journey, which fails due to the gradual suasion of the family and María Eugenia’s inability to translate her desires into action.

María Eugenia initiates the transformational journey on her trip to Paris where she splits off from her family. The water, or the green-world token: “some ordinary phenomenon that takes on extraordinary portent,” helps the hero “cross the threshold of her adventure” follows (Pratt 139). On the ship back to Caracas, María Eugenia explains that in the evenings, during the concerts in the ballroom, she would go out onto the deck to look at the ocean:

I, considering my mourning, would avoid the merriment and would seek out some solitary spot on deck, and there, lulled by the music and with my elbows on the rail, would contemplate the fantastic reflection of the moon on the tranquil sea and the white wake were marking on the dark blue waters. (18)

(Por la noche, cuando tocaban o cantaban en el salon, yo, en consideración a mi duelo, solía evadirme del

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