In País íntimo (2007), Maria Barbal illustrates a grueling search for identity through her protagonist Rita, a character that fosters rich dialogue with a second person upon whom she eventually develops dependency. This second person is Teresa, Rita's mother, and her voice and suffocating presence guide Rita's steps from childhood to maturity. Teresa and Rita represent two distinctly different generations that emerged from the Spanish Civil war (1936-1939): the generation that lived through and suffered the violence of the war firsthand, and the generation that inherited such trauma through the first generation's behavior, memories and testimonies. Under the assumption that mothers have a considerable impact on their children's identity formation, this essay analyzes the development of Rita's identity, paying close attention to the relationship established between a mother who is unable to offer any kind of nurture or comfort, and a daughter who relentlessly tries to understand her mother's behavior....

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