MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY (0128) Degree: PHD Date: 1992; pp:
Source: DAI-A 53/03, p. 827, Sep 1992
Subject: LITERATURE, ROMANCE (0313); LITERATURE, MODERN (0298)
Order No: AAC 9223175 ProQuest - Dissertation Abstracts
This dissertation focuses on Larra's conception of Natural Law, and it explicates the distinct tension in his works between belief and experience. The immediate source for the author's belief in Natural Law is the eighteenth-century Enlightenment and its elaboration of the two basic postulates of social progress and the existence of a universal natural order. In Larra, however, the conflict between his belief and his experience in an antithetical Spain of disorder becomes an essential factor in his selection of satire as the medium of expression.
The evolution of the concept of Natural Law, from antiquity through Saint Thomas Aquinas to Rousseau, serves as the point of reference, showing the emergence of the view of society as a natural phenomenon of the general will of its members and of the first principle of Natural Law, through human reason, of "do good and avoid evil." The development of the concept culminates in its eighteenth-century interpretation supported by the principles of justice, liberty and equality, the tripod of the climate of opinion of Larra's formative years.
The historical and socio-political reality of Spain occupies a foremost position in Larra's works, for it intensely contradicts the principles of Natural Law of Larra's belief. Spain's circumstance did not ascribe to the natural order, which would ultimately lead the individual and society through progress to perfection. The integrative study of his era and his Articulos demonstrates this view of the human and of Spain.
Through the use of satire, Larra cogently and effectively shows himself to be a serious critic of society embued with a commitment to provoke the requisite change for the common good. In the expository processes of discourse and recognition and with satire as the medium, Larra seeks refuge in himself in search of an explanation for the failure. The analysis of his two masterpieces "El día de difuntos de 1836" and "La Nochebuena de 1836" articulates this development and demonstrates within the context of Natural Law and its postulates the tension between belief and experience.