The different aspects of family structures are a central issue on the so-called "first period" of Machado de Assis's literary works, which includes the novels Ressurreição (1872), A mão e a luva (1874), Helena (1876), and Iaiá Garcia (1878), among other texts. The subject, which is commonplace on nineteenth-century Brazilian and international literature, was important not only on Machado de Assis but also on other Brazilian writers at that time. Assuming that knowledge of Machado de Assis's intellectual context is crucial to understand his work, we aim to do a study divided in two parts. Firstly, we will try to capture how family structures are represented in his texts from 1860 to 1880. After that, this representation will be compared to those of other nineteenth-century Brazilian authors. Based on that, we will try to understand how Machado de Assis made a statement about Brazilian issues of those decades by exploring family structures in the works of his "first period". It is important to bear in mind that this problem is related to cultural transformations, as well as to national projects associated to the different literary genres in Brazil during the second half of the nineteenth century.
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