Gabriela starts off with a woman who is a cook, becomes a mistress and finally is a wife to the local bar owner.  The story takes places in a costal town run by colonels ones of which would like to have Gabriela as his wife, she refuses and is not interested.  Nacib, the bar owner is an educated man, may not be a business man but he has an education and has trouble with Gabriela’s low level of education.

Gabriela is the typical 1920’s wife.  She cooks, cleans and pleases her husband.  She is uneducated and is not necessarily interested in learning anything to further her education.  In the article found in the Chicago Journal, Judith Butler is mentioned and her theory is that sex and gender are ‘phantasmic’ which means that sex and gender are defined by culture and not ‘natural’(material entities).  This statement from her book Gender Troubles helps us understand that according to her the way that women behave is based on culture and the way that they are expected to, in the different time periods in history.  For example, in the 1920’s women were to ‘wait on their men hand and foot’ now a days women are allowed to have jobs in the business world, receive equal pay and have rights.  During the time that Gabriela lived this was not the case and it was hard for Gabriela to do what she wanted.  For instance in the movie she did not want to go to a reading by the poet that was in town but would have much rather gone to the circus with her younger friend.  As an illiterate she did not understand what the big deal was about a reading and why she should go to it if she did not understand anything and had absolutely no interest in doing so.  But because Nacib wanted her to go she had no choice and had to follow his order to do so.  During that time Gabriela and other women were ‘slaves’ of their husbands or men that they worked for.  Men on the other hand were allowed to do what they wanted.  They were allowed to sleep with other men’s wives without repercussions for their actions, as for a woman if she slept with another man she was condemned not marriage material and then was not a suitable wife.  Through history times have changed and women have gained rights, they are no longer dictated by the men in society and can say what they want to.  Throughout the movie Gabriela and the marriage between Gabriela and Nacib their relationship changes after they get married.  Nacib tends to be more distant and not as caring as he was before, as it is with many men even in today’s day and age that the lust is greater than the actual attraction.  Following the relationship between the couple rise and fall during the course of the movie is very interesting and just shows what a woman’s role was during that time.  

There are many things that have changed in history, most for the better.  Women now have a voice and rights, are seen as equals.  Women can make choices without men and can have lives that do not have to involve men.  If Gabriela were alive today and she did not want to go to the poet reading she would be able to go to the circus without having to sneak away from her husband so that she could do so.