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The film Portrait of Teresa by the Cuban director Pastor Vega deals with the struggle of Teresa to “fit into” the ideals of revolutionary Cuba. The film Salt of the Earth by the American director Herbert J. Biberman deals with the theme of male domination and female struggle against the same. Thesis statement: an investigation into the roles of Teresa in ‘Portrait of Teresa’ and Esperanza Quintero in ‘Salt of the Earth’ by comparison/contrast method.
In the movie ‘Portrait of Teresa’, the role of Teresa is so significant because her life and experience reflects the role of women in the Cuban society. The character of Teresa reveals the contradiction between revolutionary and traditional values. For example, Teresa was forced to take on major responsibilities in her family, which consist of her husband and sons. The development in the Cuban society provides immense opportunities to its citizens. Teresa works in a textile factory in the skyline of Havana to fulfill her personal responsibility towards her family. In addition, she works at a recreational dance group in the evening. The changing values of the domestic and public field affect her life and she ineffectually tries to satisfy both the spheres. The character of Teresa represents the hard working women folk in the Cuban society. She operates textile machinery in the morning session and involves in dance rehearsals in the evening. So, one can easily identify that female life in Cuban society is a struggle for survival. Teresa’s late night rehearsals irritate her husband and it badly affects her personal life. But this leads to her short temperedness towards others at the textile factory meeting. She does all the works at home like preparing breakfast, helping her children, preparing evening meals, and cleaning the house. Here, one can see that almost all household works are done
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Early in the novel, we notice that Teresa is a very wild and stubborn child in the family. She is in relationship with Don Javier, a very handsome man who also happens to be Teresa’s cousin. This is so scandalous, hence, the father sends her to a convent so that the marriage does not occur, and so that she may learn discipline.
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