Class Year


Document Type

Student Research Paper

Date of Creation

Spring 2018

Department 1


Department 2

Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies


This paper explores Elena Garro’s short story “La culpa es de los tlaxcaltecas.” Supplementing close readings with analyses drawn from relevant authors and theorists, I highlight the key ideas regarding gender, identity, memory, and history that Garro weaves into her text, and I consider Garro’s emphasis on patriarchal control, the internalization of female culpability for the Spanish Conquest of Mexico, and women’s role in constructing and reconstructing historical discourses. By travelling into her own and Mexico’s past, Laura Aldama, one of the main female protagonists in the story, not only challenges gendered histories but also reveals how patriarchal thought continues to influence contemporary realities. In addition, by paralleling Laura’s guilt and feelings of betrayal with the La Malinche myth, Garro’s work restructures this cultural symbol. Ultimately, I argue that “La culpa es de los tlaxcaltecas” redefines women’s role in history and society; valorizes female solidarity, voice, and perspective; and encourages women to challenge the limitations of masculinist discourses.


Written as an honors thesis for English and a senior capstone for Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.