De tu ventana a la mía
Camera lingers on a surface of quasi-transparent poppies in such an extreme close-up that the tiny cells and filaments are visible, almost tangible. They evoke the cell-like structure of a skin. Like the skin, these delicate poppies are fragile and sensuous. They are easily destroyable but they always revive and breathe into life. The background noise of a woman’s humming accentuates the ethereal, fleeting quality. The camera moves into a bird-view shot of a bathtub with a dressed woman there. Her skirt floating on the surface of the water adds to the ethereal albeit tangible quality of the images. This then moves into three successive shots of three women, all doing handicraft, their look slightly distracted. In all half the framed stays hidden, whether because of a door or darkness, but they all convey a sense of emptiness. These are accompanied by a voice-over pronouncing “there are love stories that are like poppies; red, fragile, almost ephemeral. And despite, they stay in the heart forever”. Consequently, the discourse pronounced is rather vague, atemporal, conveying more a sense of metaphoric and objective feelings rather than concrete descriptions of characters or the story. This then is changes into three voice-overs explaining subjective inner feelings and physical beings; I’m not like my mother, I am not sick. Two years is a long time, I miss you. If I hadn’t had that many attacks, I could have found someone like you [Gary Grant]. This is the beginning of Paula Ortiz’s poetic debut film De tu ventana a la mía (2011). Taking into consideration these two modes of voice-over, this article looks at the ways embodied feelings are represented through characters and through mise-en-scène. Do female existential questions remain atemporal despite the epochs and ages? To what extent the existential feelings are affected by the surrounding factors?
Paula Ortiz’s poetic film tells the story of three women, centring on female experiences from three different angles and through three different periods. The three women Violeta, Inés y Luisa, whose stories are set in three difficult periods in Spain’s recent history, 1923, 1940 and 1975 respectively, are connected by same personal preoccupations despite the different socio-economic situations and history. Filmed in a parallel mode, all three separate stories and epochs overlap and they are united by the use of metaphors and thematic and stylistic traits. Consequently, it is not a study of the different epochs per se, but what connects these is the female point of view and female sensibility. As Alvarado cites the director’s words “the film aims to be a kaleidoscope of the female experiences and imagination; the nature’s cycles, the different ages of life, their happiness and cruelty” (cited in Alvarado, 2012, my translation). As the director has described the three stories are “emotional journeys, a caleidoscope of the female experiences of love, of suffering, of hope” (Belinchón, 2012; my translation). The film becomes a vehicle to express the metamorphosis of these women, representing the emotional and embodied journey and female experiences through visual and thematic means.
Violeta is a young woman in tender age living with her intellectual, former biology professor uncle and aunt in green, romantic but also pressing countryside in 1923. Without giving too much information, Violeta is treated as mentally unstable by her uncle and forced to drink purple medicine that even refers to her name. Although Violeta’s uncle loves her very much, she is overprotected and seen as fragile and delicate, as if one the flowers in her uncle’s greenhouse. Things get muddled as a young biology student Manuel enters the house to hide the regime and study alongside the uncle. There is a romantic endeavour between him and Violeta that the uncle silently and through acts disapproves. Once Manuel travels to Paris to escape the regime, Violeta gets distracted but it has also bigger effect on her. This starts a painful journey to self-discovery for Violeta. Inés’s story is set in the 1940 war. Being a girlfriend of a guerrilla fighter Paco, she lives in a vast high plateau where he can hide when he appears after two years. Amidst the muddle of hiding and staying alive, they get married but Paco is soon captured. Inés is a victim of franquismo during which many women were imprisoned, tortured and assassinated. As the film shows the horrible events from the point of view of one of the victims, from the domestic sphere, through this subjective point the film approaches female sensibility during that time and shows the effects of cruelty to the female psyche. Although she is tortured both psychologically as well as physically, however, through her pregnancy, she too starts to transform in both of these terms. The third story of the film centres on Luisa, a woman in her late 50s. She lives with her cousin Isabel in the city of Zaragoza amidst all the social changes happening in 1975. The film never reveals why she is living with Isabel in an over empowering solitude and quietness. Through images of Hollywood stars and voice-over intonations the film approaches her inner fantasies and lost dreams. As set during the Spanish Transition, the film juxtaposes Luisa’s personal transition. Once she is diagnosed with a breast cancer this is a new start for her to become the woman she wanted to be.
As the film does not reveal verbally much about the protagonists the setting gives them historicity. Each unique landscape characterizes the women and their stories, and these are filmed in a way to enable the spectator to approximate the physical settings these women inhabit. Although Violeta, Inés and Luisa live in very different eras and in different socio-economic situations, the symbolism of the settings and mise-en-scène unite these three stories and give them continuity. All three women live in certain imprisonment and in a hostile environment, whether in terms of climate, social climate or family relations. Extraordinarily filmed by Migue Amoedo, it is as if the environment buries the characters and suffocates them.
Violeta lives in a grand country house with a glass greenhouse where many scenes take place. These scenes are filmed in delicate tones, giving an air of lightness, echoing the fragility through which Violeta is treated and seen. Shots of her in the greenhouse are often juxtaposed by shots of butterflies in glass cages. Consequently, the setting becomes an elegant form of imprisonment. Alluding to herself, Violeta even describes the house being like a fish tank when she is looking at a fish in a fishbowl. The only way out from the picturesque setting the film shows is a dark train tunnel that accentuates the feeling of entrapment. Violeta’s wish to go to the nearby deserted train station at the early scenes of the film and later with Manuel clearly alludes to her wish to see further from her uncle’s house.
Inés is also living her personal entrapment. Instead of tight, confined spaces, her entrapment is the vast desert-like high plateau where she lives and Paco hides during the war. The stories thus go through humidity that suffocates Violeta in her greenhouse to Inés’s complete dryness of the desert. The desert scenes are filmed with warm yellow and brown hues. However, instead of offering any warmness, these scenes connote the suffocating element of sand and the heat, and their fierceness is enforced by the heavy wind. With this eternal heavy wind Iñaki Ortiz has associated this setting as an apocalyptic place (2012). Consequently, as Belinchón states “the film proves that the setting does not have to be closed in order to squash the habitants” (2012; my translation).
Completely different environment to Violeta’s country house and Inés’s stone hut is Luisa’s apartment in the city centre. However, the notion of loneliness and imprisonment are especially acutely represented through this flat. The quiet domestic scenes with Isabel clearly demonstrate this. Sewing and cooking, they are filmed from the distance and the shot is tightly framed since Luisa and Isabel are cluttered in a tight, claustrophobic corridor-type space. Additionally half of the frame is a white wall, referring to her lonely life where many windows have been left unopened. The claustrophobic apartment connotes a sense of imprisonment and oppressiveness to Luisa. Set during a winter time, Iñaki Ortiz sees these city scenes as “melancholic, grey and without life” (2012; my translation). Luisa clearly wants to break free, as when she explains to Isabel that she will not continue to live her life through the window, locked inside, but instead will explore and live it.
As Luisa’s utterance of her wanting to live her life, the film is structured around existential feelings of the characters. It offers a way to witness how some events affect the women both mentally as well as physically, highlighting embodiment. In order to understand the body as a locus of embodiment it is important to demarcate the body both as a physiological entity and the lived, phenomenological body. Rutherford explains this distinction by refereeing to two German words of the body, Körper and Leid. Whereas Körper is the physiological and objectified body, containing “the structural aspects of the body” (Rutherford, citing Ots, 2003) Leib is “the body of feeling, sensation, perception and emotion” (Rutherford, 2003). In De tu ventana a la mía feelings are expressed through characters’ gestures, profound looks and acts. The diegetic, verbal expressions are selected and the prevailing silence demonstrates the difficulty of pronouncing our bodily, embodied feelings. In this respect Violeta’s attempt of drowning herself in a bathtub is a highly embodied act. It evokes the emotional side of feeling distressed and anxious but also to physically feel the danger and suffocation this act causes. Thus, her sudden reappearance to the surface to frantically get some air demonstrates both a feeling to want to live and the bodily reaction to the fear of death.
Despite the scarcity of diegetic dialogue, in addition to the gestures feelings are expressed to a great extent through voice-overs that enforce the visual representations of these. Although voice-over could be seen as an easy and simplified way to express feelings, here they also point to the difficultness or impossibility to express these verbally. However, the voice-overs about feelings and emotions also punctuate how the women are not heard. When the characters speak loud about their feelings it seems that the listener is not really listening, as Violeta’s aunt or Luisa’s cousin Isabel. This lack of listening is clearly demonstrated through many domestic scenes. There is an evocative scene where Luisa talks to Isabel and Isabel continues with her mundane tasks. They are in separate rooms and the screen is divided by a wall. Luisa even expresses how she cannot talk about anything with her, to which Isabel corresponds merely asking what she wants to eat. This lack of listening is even further accentuated in a similar scene where Luisa tells Isabel about her cancer. Isabel keeps on peeling vegetables and although she states Luisa will be alright, this sentence has no power. Isabel disappears to the kitchen and again the screen is divided by a wall, showing Isabel in the kitchen and leaving Luisa alone sitting in the eating room. Thus, it is decisive that Valentin invites Luisa to come to his shop to listen Alfredo Kraus. He also gives Luisa a cassette, stating how it is “for listening” since Luisa looks rather baffled. Although this can be seen because of its modernity it also points to the sensuous effects of hearing, something she is not accustomed in her quiet flat where films are watched without sound. On a similar way the scene representing Isabel‘s lack of listening is followed by a scene where Violeta expresses her suffocation to her aunt, stating how the house is like a fish tank and ponders whether she is like her mother. Although the aunt hugs her, instead of giving any solace she just repeats Isabel’s words asking what Violeta wants to eat. The shot is half darkened and the camera gives distance to Violeta and her aunt that then stresses the entrapment and loneliness Violeta is experiencing.
De facto, one of the key themes that connect the three women is loneliness. Loneliness is a feeling that is difficult to film without words. As Prinz states, some critics claim that there are no bodily correlates for some emotions, one of them being loneliness (p.5). However, as Prinz points out “[L]oneliness may not even be an emotion, but, in any case, it is surely embodied. Like grief, [again], loneliness seems to be marked by consuming enervation” (p.5). Ortiz manages to convey a sense of emptiness and loneliness in a quiet and poetic way through the mise-en-scène. For example, as seen, there are many scenes where the protagonists are filmed leaving half of the frame empty, blocked or darkened. Inés is often filmed in long shots against the vast desert that makes her look very small. When she drops a basket full of eggs and desperately shouts to the empty desert, this sudden expressive outburst together with the broken eggs can be seen as an emotional collapse that highlights the loneliness and lack of listener despite Inés’s attempt to stay strong. While the vast spatial barrenness convey how Inés’s feeling of loneliness is mainly caused by the physical state of being alone and by the distance between her and her husband, Luisa’s loneliness can be seen more as a state of longing and feeling lonely than actually physically being alone. When Luisa tells diegetically that she has always been alone and misused time this way, arguably the power of this is achieved not through the words but through the gestures and through the mise-en-scène. Her look is distracted, she has turned away from Isabel and is not taking an eye contact with her while she stands behind her. These arguably points to the difficultness of these confessions as these have a highly subjective emotional power.
As Sobschack has stated cinema works as to awaken sensuous experiences. While watching a film “we are in some carnal modality able to touch and be touched by the substance and texture of images; to feel a visual atmosphere envelop us; to experience weight, suffocation, and the need for air; to take flight in kinetic exhilaration and freedom even as we are relatively bound to our theater seats” (cited in Polan, 2001, p.23). Laura Marks has talked how vision can be tactile, able to touch the images. To make a distinction from the literal act of touching she uses the term haptic visuality to denote how “the eyes themselves function like organs of touch” (Marks, 2000, pp. xi, 162). Haptic visuality and thus haptic cinema offers different sense perception than the more typical optical visuality since it involves the body much more (Marks, 2000, p. 163). Used in films together with sound, camera movement, and montage, haptic images encourage an embodied, sensuous relationship with the images (Marks, 2000, pp.151-152,172). Marks points out how “cinema is not an illusion but an extension of the viewer’s embodied existence” (citing Sobchack (1992), 2000, p. 149). Thus, the embodied spectatorship is an interactive process where “the relationship between spectator and film is fundamentally mimetic, in that meaning is not solely communicated through signs but experienced in the body” (Marks, citing Sobchack (1992), p.149). In the same vein Stephens states how the sensory perceptions of our bodies “shape the way we make meaning and reveal the extent to which what we see remains closely interconnected with how we feel”(2012, p.530).
De tu ventana a la mía is a sensuous experience where the images are brought closer to body and through the mise-en-scène the film evokes senses of touch and hearing in addition to the visual. The sounds, textures and surfaces become very vivid, enabling the spectator to get closer to the world these women inhabit. As the director states “the aim was to be able to intensively breathe the universe where the textures would seem real and where you would have time to walk inside the emotions of these women” (cited in Alvarado, 2012; my translation). Thus, by highlighting the subjective, embodied world of the protagonists De tu ventana a la mía approximates sensorium from the characters perspective but without forgetting the sensuous experiences of the spectators.
The sense of hearing is accentuated especially through the background noise. In fact, many scenes can be recognised as belonging to one of the three stories merely by the intensified background sound. It is used to highlight some insignificant activities as when Luisa and Isabel are cooking or when Isabel is using the sewing machine. Highlighted to the extreme they convey the feeling of frustration these monotonous domestic chores mean to Luisa. The ticking clock in the background intensifies the quietness of their flat, where no Alfredo Kraus is heard. Inés’s hut is accompanied by a rattle of an iron cow bell and enamel dishes that punctuates the rural void, where voices echo the vastness of the desert. The noise also punctuates the scene where Violeta reads Manuel’s letter where he says he has gone to France. The background sound of the garden becomes distorted and blurred while she stays motionless in the same place. Thus the noise makes this a subjective experience, conveying the shock Violeta experiences. As such, through the use of this unintelligible sense the scenes enclose us to the subjective, audible world of the characters but also make us reflect the feelings these evoke.
In addition to the sounds, the sense of touch is highly emphasized in the film. All three women cut their finger in the first minutes of the film and start to bleed. As they all feel pain to this, this highlights how hands and touch are a paramount centre of feeling and vital to the sensual world. However, instead of merely pointing to the representation of touch, as Stephens has noted the disruptive power of hapticity is that it destabilizes the separation between sight and touch (2012, p.533). Thus, for example, when Inés is plucking hens or shearing sheep, this is filmed in close-up shots emphasizing the soft, warm wool or feathers that are almost tangible. Connected to this raw material, a wool thread travels through the stories, filmed often in a way to highlight the tiniest parts of it. In addition to the symbolic allusions of thread of life and a raw material to be used, the products of the thread are seen as eloquent metaphors that forms part of the sensual journey. For example, when Luisa starts feeling sexual, sensual awakenings, this is conveyed through the texture of tights in Valentin’s shop. He caressed Luisa’s arm through the silk tights she has put around her arm to feel the texture and quality. As this tight is shown in close-up the spectators are enabled to feel it, to visually touch it and its tiny pattern, as well as Valentin’s touch of her hand. The tiny, insignificant details are intensified through the tangible qualities attached to those. In this way the sheets Inés has hung out to dry are filmed in such a close-up that lint and folds can be seen. Although they denote Inés’s perseverance, to keep them clean in case Paco suddenly comes back, they allude to the tangible qualities of cinema, to make us touch the images and feel what we are seeing.
In addition to the tangible cinematic touch, the physical act of touching becomes important as to allude to the sensuous qualities of this unintelligible sense. Touch requires contact and is a reciprocal act since there is always that what is touched and the one that touches. This tactile quality is emphasized by many shots of hands and the characters touching things. As the setting that suffocates the protagonists, windows functions as an obstruction in every story that impede the contact, the touch. The city view is often seen from Luisa’s apartment in conjunction with the domestic chores taking place inside, making the city to look so distant and separate. Luisa is often looking through a window or she is filmed through windows, standing outside, for example outside Valentin’s shop. This way the windows convey a sense of self-enacted displacement, placing herself on the other side. As already noted, Violeta is surrounded by glass windows and walls. Seeing Violeta as one of his flowers, the uncle explains Manuel in metaphorical terms that no one enters the area in the greenhouse where the most precious flowers are kept and asks him to stay outside and take care of the flowers outside the greenhouse. As in Luisa’s case, the transparent material gains much importance because it becomes a symbolic obstruction. Inés is able to touch Paco merely through a tiny window hole in a cave where he is imprisoned, her obstacle being more concrete than the glass symbolism for Luisa and Violeta. It places spatial distance between her and Paco. However, whether the obstruction is transparent, a glass material as in Luisa and Violeta’s case, or a spatial obstacle for Inés, it becomes a symbol of here and there, a boundary that separates the women from their goals, from the human contact, and thus has more emotional power.
Throughout De tu ventana a la mía there is an emphasis on physicality and the body is a recipient of the events happening around the protagonist. These bodily changes are also seen through introspective looks since the characters are looking – or not looking – at themselves in the mirror after key events, conveying an inner conflict. Mirrors are connected to private spheres since we often inspect our face and body when alone. This way the mirrors in the film convey an act of self-scrutiny and exploration. Consequently, instead of solely reflecting the bodily changes the mirrors are used throughout the film to reflect the mental changes and experiences of the women. De tu ventana a la mía highlights the material and symbolic body and their associations of femininity, like breasts and hair. These connote the female realm and female sensibility. Each woman has to cut the hair in the course of the film for varied reasons. This again connects the three separate stories in an eloquent way. The three scenes where the hair is cut are filmed in conjunction, the same choir-like music accompanying the shots. Together with the tilted camera angles, jump cuts and extreme close-ups these convey the brutality and emotional magnitude these acts have. Additionally, in each of the three stories hair has strong social connotations. As Maynard states hair encompasses “vast and differing social manifestations” (citing Hiltebeitel (1998), 2004, p.103) and it “can be used methodologically to explain all kinds of social engagements” (2004, p.103). Bearing in mind the social significance it has, in De tu ventana a la mía hair becomes a target of external dominance but also a form of self-control through the material body.
Violeta’s uncle controls her bodily and mentally by claiming Violeta to have psychological problems, as presumably her mother had. When Manuel travels to Paris, Violeta becomes doleful. On her attempt to go to France through a train tunnel that separates her uncle’s house from the outer world Violeta is raped by a stranger. The rape that is filmed mostly in close-up shots of Violeta’s screaming face and suddenly muted completely is a clear invasion of her body and leaves marks on her. After that Violeta starts overtly expressing herself through reluctance and suicidal disturbances that, crucially, were unseen before despite her uncle’s claims. After the rape Violeta is inspecting her mirror image. This is filmed again with a shot of her fish tank and soon followed by her going to a bathtub with fish. By disappearing under the surface both symbolically as well as literally convey her suffocation in her own fish tank. After coming to the surface, she goes in front of a mirror again and fiercely cuts her beautiful, long hair short. Looking at herself in the mirror together with the jump cuts and extreme close-ups of part of her face convey feeling of fragmentation and consequently, a self-search. Taking into consideration the social meaning of hair Ferrante points out how the distribution of facial and body hair is typically seen as a sign of ‘correct’ masculinity and femininity (2010, p.271). In this pursuit of the socio-cultural norm the length of hair is also significant. Thus, “long hair does not simply signify feminine sexual attractiveness; it is feminine sexual attractiveness” (Ferrante, 2010, p.271). In the same vein Maynard states how in the western tradition “long hair in women is a key attribute of youthful femininity, even virginity” (2004, p.104). As Violeta who asked her uncle about the reversal of the butterfly metamorphosis at the beginning of the film, she intentionally transforms herself form a beautiful butterfly into a larva by cutting her precious hair. This could be seen as an act to deny any sexuality of her attacked body. It also works her to point out that things do not always go as per book, as her uncle thinks who meticulously studies rules of the nature and who had everything planned for Violeta’s future. It could be argued that by refusing to take part in daily activities and being restraint from the verbal language Violeta uses her body and bodily responses to object the domination and to gain a sense of freedom. As Landy has stated, “in many of the woman’s films, illness becomes the strategy for expressing antagonism towards or resistance to the physical, psychic and moral constraints on women’s lives” (2001, p.123). Although De tu ventana a la mía cannot straightforwardly be categorized as a women’s film despite the main scope being female experiences, this argument is visible in Ortiz’s film. In response, Violeta’s uncle starts to write her false letters as if coming from Manuel from France. However, despite being an object of her uncle’s overprotective scrutiny, Violet realises him being the source of the letters. Thus, although the film does not represent an expected happy ending for Violeta and it is it is sad to see her staying stagnated in the house, by awarded the power and ability to see the deceptiveness of the spoken and written word she uses this to gain a sense of autonomy. While watching at herself in the mirror and letting a butterfly free, she writes the last letter from Manuel with the ending she wants that she knows will set herself free in her own terms.
Inés, on the other hand, is taken by the Francoist regime because of her possible affiliation with the resistance movement. She is mentally tortured and punished through her material body since the capturers viciously cut her long hair. As previously mentioned the gendered connotations hair has, this could be seen as a metaphor to female castration, taking away part of her femininity. While her hair is being cut, Inés is looking at herself in the tiny pocket mirror that she has dropped on the ground. This, together with an advice by a fellow woman tortured to hold her breath so that the capturers will not see her pregnancy, can be seen as a turning point for Inés that is slowly represented by mirrors. When Inés escapes the desert hut to move into another to start anew with her baby she is carrying a big mirror. While this metaphorically points to the beginning of a journey to self and personal emancipation, it also reflects the person she wants to be. After her hair is cut she does not want to see her mirror image. However, through her pregnancy which causes her body to change, she starts to gain her femininity and self-confidence back. This is clearly expressed in the scene where she removes the fabric covering the mirror and is able to look at her own reflection again while holding her baby in her arms. This personal and social transcendence through body and motherhood has also more oneiric and unattainable dimensions. This is eloquently represented through a scene where Inés is sitting on a chair in the middle of a cornfield. Inés stays in the same position while the crop grows within the shot. This clearly places her outside this environment while clearly being part of it. This scene is important as here the inhospitable, wild land becomes the fertile, hospitable environment, reflecting Inés’s personal change and her own fertile state as being a mother, holding the baby calmly in her arms.
This idea of body as a site of transformations is perhaps most visibly represented by Luisa. While losing her hair and one breast, the cancer is affecting her both physically as well as psychologically. The film eloquently represents the fear of losing control of her body. When she hears about the cancer a shot of her quietly shocked face is shortly accompanied by a sound of eerie creaking. This rapidly changes into a shot of her walking past a demolished, empty house that is the source of the sound. By painstakingly looking at it and the sound being intensified clearly alludes to Luisa’s inner fears that place her body on a par with a ruined shell. Thus, Luisa’s cutting of her hair is a self-intentional act. It gives her authority over her ill body, highlighting how she can still control some aspects of it. In relation to the introspective look of the ill body, there is a powerful scene when Luisa removes her bra and watches herself in the mirror – compelling also as an older woman’s naked body is hardly seen in the cinema. Luisa’s body is seen through her eyes as a reflected mirror image. Instead of covering the abject, diseased body, the scene highlights the body being the locus of psychosomatic transformations. The scene is transmitting an agonizing feeling and realization of her illness – and mortality – which is enforced through the mise-en-scène. There is again a sense of entrapment as one third of the screen stays dark, which arguably is a door that encircles Luisa. However, as portraying Luisa’s gradual journey of self-discovery, this scene is juxtaposed in the end of the film by other scene that shows the body as the main realm in this quest. Here Luisa walks down a busy street and removes a wig that has covered her bold head. She walks in a straight posture, confident about herself. This can be seen as the catharsis of the film that clearly alludes to liberation.
Consequently, as this article has tried to show in De tu ventana a la mía the female sensibility is represented through the scope of the body both in emotional and in material terms. Although the body is a recipient of the events happening around the protagonists and the recent Spanish history is clearly visible in each story, it is not a socio-historical film per se. Instead, it rather points to existential feelings and senses that stay the same despite the socio-historical context. Thus, through three different epochs, three landscapes, three economic conditions and three different stages of life the body is used to connote embodied feelings and experiences and this way the film encompassed more atemporal sensibilities.
This article has also underlined how the film offers a way to approach these embodied feelings of the women. This was achieved for example through mise-en-scène, metaphors and the physical universe through haptic shots. As seen, the introspective looks of the characters through mirrors are omnipresent in the film. These were seen after key events and thus they accentuated the physical and mental world of the women. Through these introspective looks, as Violeta who is studying the phases of chrysalis De tu ventana a la mía becomes a story of a metamorphosis of these three women. As many butterflies in the film, an epitome of metamorphosis, this transformation was expressed in physical terms, for example through the usurpation of the body and changes in the material body such as cutting of hair and a removal of a breast. However, it was also seen in psychological terms, offering embodied feelings of the characters. As Iñaki Ortiz states the film represents three states of life: innocence, maturity and old age (2012). However, these stages are not portrayed solely as generational divisions in regards to the age of the three women but as stages of gaining conscience of oneself. In this respect despite not offering any happy ending, Violeta, Inés and Luisa all leave certain innocent stages through which they gain a degree of agedness in terms of experience and self-confidence.