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Subversive SpiritsThe Female Ghost in British and American Popular Culture$
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Robin Roberts

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781496815569

Published to University Press of Mississippi: May 2019

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496815569.001.0001

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The Terrifying Maternal Ghost in the Americas

The Terrifying Maternal Ghost in the Americas

La Llorona

Chapter:
(p.63) Chapter Three The Terrifying Maternal Ghost in the Americas
Source:
Subversive Spirits
Author(s):

Robin Roberts

Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781496815569.003.0004

La Llorona is terrifying, a spectre whose distinctive attire heralds death and destruction, a female figure of power, a female ghost who is feared. La Llorona has a diffuse and influential history. A centuries-old Hispanic folklore figure, La Llorona has innumerable redactions, most recently feminist retellings by American writers and appearances on U.S. television series. This specific context affects the meaning of both the ghost, her conflicted role as a mother, and the feminist narratives that reclaim her. This chapter explores the use of this figure through her appearance in literature and the television shows Supernatural and Grimm. Her essential narrative--that of a betrayed woman who threatens children--usually begins ominously, but twentieth- and twenty-first-century texts reveal sympathy for her situation.

Keywords:   Supernatural, Grimm, television, Mexican-American Literature, female ghost

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