Once Upon a Quincenera

Research Paper Proposal
In Julia Alvarez’s book, Once Upon a Quinceanera, Alvarez goes on to research everything about what goes on in a quince. I will choose to analyze the cultural myth of Ideal Gender Roles and how it plays a part in Alvarez’s novel, especially in the beginning. I will analyze the role a doll makes in the whole process and how it relates back to gender roles, saying something like, “dolls are like a representation of a baby and how the girl should act like a mother, nurturing and caretaking. In society, that’s how women are viewed,” or something similar. Also, I will use the evidence of how the quinceanera wants to wear a slutty dress and discuss the standards of what is beautiful in our society. I analyze the whole process of the Quinceanera, pointing out things like how the father is the one to present the daughter, and switches her shoes, etc. A quote I will use would be, “Boys don’t need a quinceanera…Boys are born men but girls are turned into women” (72). I might also bring up the fact that the dress of the quinceanera is typically pink, which is a stereotyped color that seems feminine, which again goes back to what a girl should like and should act like. I might bring up the fact that the photographer won’t touch the girls and how they ask the mother to fix what needs to be adjusted. Alvarez goes on to say, “Girls…living inside children’s bodies turn into women with sexy, enticing cuerpos, and suddenly it’s open season. Meanwhile, boys, born men, who have been taught since day one to prove themselves as healthy machos, are going to prey on them” (73).

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