What is the role Mrs. Glitz plays in Real Women Have Curves?

In Real Women Have Curves, Mrs. Glitz is an unkind, selfish woman who uses her knowledge of Estela's undocumented status to blackmail her into doing her work cheaply and accepting unreasonable deadlines. She is the antagonist Estela must overcome to achieve freedom and success at the end of the play.

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One of the major themes of Real Women Have Curves is the ever-present threat which "La Migra," the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement, poses for undocumented aliens. Estela is the owner of the Garcia Sewing Factory, which provides the setting for the play and therefore, theoretically, has a modicum of power, as an employer. However, the fact that she is in America illegally means that she is continually nervous about being discovered and deported.

Mrs. Glitz is aware of Estela's situation and uses it to exploit her. The Glitz Company is an important client for the Garcia Sewing Factory, but the power this would give Mrs. Glitz in any case is not enough for her. She uses her knowledge of Estela's undocumented status to coerce her into meeting unreasonable deadlines for low prices.

Mrs. Glitz acts as proxy for La Migra as the villain of the piece, whom Estela and the other women are ultimately able to defy. At the end of the play, Estela calls up Mrs. Glitz and tells her that her custom is no longer needed or welcome. She tells Mrs. Glitz that she is "mean, wicked, bitter, unsympathetic, greedy, rude," to the elation of the other women, who have all suffered from Mrs. Glitz's unreasonable demands. Mrs. Glitz, therefore, is the antagonist Estela has to overcome to create her boutique and find success and independence.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on February 18, 2021
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