The feministapproachinliterarycriticism


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The feministapproachinliterarycriticism

  1. 1. Feminis
  2. 2. “The idea that gender norms can be changed is central to feminist theory” (McManus) • A belief that women universally face some form of oppression or exploitation; • A commitment to uncover and understand what causes and sustains oppression; • A commitment to work individually and collectively everyday life to end all forms of oppression.
  3. 3. • Feminist critics analyze how literary work is influenced by a male dominated society. • Feminists feel that authors look for non- feminine objects or characters and describe them as feminine to belittle them and make woman look bad (Brayton)
  4. 4. The History Of Feminism • „Waves of Feminism‟ –1st: (Late 1700s – Early 1900s) Mary Wollstonecraft highlights the inequalities between the sexes. Feminists were active in the women‟s suffrage movement, which lead to the National Universal suffrage in 1920
  5. 5. The History Of Feminism –2nd: (Early 1960s – Late 1970s) There are more equal conditions. N.O.W. (National Organization for Women) was formed for feminists in 1966. Simone de Beauvoir and Elain Showalter formed a basis for the distribution of feminist theories.
  6. 6. The History Of Feminism –3rd: (Early 1990s – Present) These decades deepened the equality of women, such as with a variety of jobs women can have and a variety of opportunities open to them.
  7. 7. What Is Feminist Criticism?
  8. 8. Feminist Criticism • A type of literary criticism that critiques how females are commonly represented in texts, and how insufficient these representations are as a categorizing device. They focus on how femininity is represented as being passive and emotional – the “caregiver,” and the male is associated with reason and action – the “doer.”
  9. 9. Feminist Criticism • the feminist critique of literature seeks to raise the consciousness about the importance and unique nature of women in literature, and to point out how language has been used to marginalize women.
  10. 10. Feminist Criticism • Feminist scholars wish to consider women as subjects, or points of interest to study. • They do not want to categorize women as “objects” as men often do. • They want to question why male dominance is the norm. • Feminist approach to literary criticism main concern: the ways in which literature undermines the economic, political, social, and psychological oppression of women. (McManus)
  11. 11. Feminist Criticism Specifically, the feminist view attempts to: 1. Show that writers of traditional literature have ignored women and have presented misguided and prejudiced views of them 2. Create a critical landscape that reflects a balanced view of the nature and value of women
  12. 12. Feminist Criticism 3. Expand the literary canon by recovering works of women of the past and publication of contemporary female writers 4. Urge transformation in the language to eliminate inequities and inequalities that result from linguistic distortions such as mankind (rather than humanity).
  13. 13. Feminist Critical Questions 1. To what extent does the representation of women (and men) in the work reflect the time and place in which the work was written? 2. How are the relationships between men and women presented in the work? 3. Does the author present the work from within a predominantly male or female perspective?
  14. 14. Feminist Critical Questions 4.How do the facts of the author’s life relate to the presentation of men and women in the work? 5. How do other works by the author correspond to this one in their depiction of the power relationships between men and women?
  15. 15. How To Identify It • Typical questions literary critics with a feminist approach ask: – “How is the relationship between men and women portrayed? – What are the power relationships between men and women (or characters assuming male/female roles)? – How are male and female roles defined? – What constitutes masculinity and femininity? – How do characters embody these traits? – Do characters take on traits from opposite genders? How so? How does this change others’ reactions to them?” (Brizee and Tompkins)
  16. 16. Feminist Literary Criticism • Critiques patriarchal language and literature. It examines gender politics and traces the construction of masculinity and femininity, and what that status means to society. • Based on stereotypical representations of genders. (Delahoyde)
  17. 17. Feminist Theories • Where patriarchy reigns, a woman is defined only by her difference from male norms and values meaning she is defined as how different she is from man; Not as her own individual. Example: In European society, the Bible depicts Eve as the primary cause of sin and death in the world “While biology determines our sex, male or female, culture determines our gender, masculine or feminine.” (Brizee and Tompkins)
  18. 18. Gender studies • The entire concept of the female difference is what caused female oppression • They wish to move beyond “difference” altogether
  19. 19. Marxist Feminism • Focuses on the relation between reading and social realities • Marxist feminists attack the prevailing capitalistic system of the West, which they view as sexually as well as economically exploitative • They direct their attention toward conditions of production of literary texts- economics of publishing and distributing texts • Matter vs. manner of a text
  20. 20. Psychoanalytic Feminism • Practical and not terminology-ridden • French= most innovative and far-reaching of this – English feminist critics (Marxists) stress oppression – French feminist critics (psychoanalytic) stress repression • Reject the idea that art is representational- merely effects of language • Myth- appeals to women because of their identification with nature (women goddesses- Ceres, Medea)
  21. 21. Minority Feminism • Black and lesbian feminists • Their work tends to use irony as a primary literary device to focus on their self-definition- their “coming out”- for they often reject classic literary tradition as oppressive • They accuse other feminist critics of developing their ideas only in reference to white, upper-middle-class women who practice feminism only in order to become a part of the patriarchal power structure. – Women who want to be considered equal to men (equal rights)
  22. 22. Bibliography • Brayton , Jennifer. "What makes Feminist Research Feminist? ." The Structure of Feminist Research . Harper Collins Inc, 1997. Web. 30 Aug 2012 • Brizee, Allen, and J Tompkins. "Feminist Criticism (1960s to present)." The Purdue OWL. N.p., 2010 April 21. Web. 30 Aug 2012. • Davis, Marion A.. "Student Pulse." A Brief Look at Feminism in Shakespeare's Macbeth. Student Pulse, LLC, 2009. Web. 30 Aug 2012. • Delahoyde, Michael. "Literature." Washington State University. N.p., 6 Jan 2011. Web. 2 Sep 2012. • Gilbert, Sandra. Rereading Women. 1st ed. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2011. 49-54. Print. • McManus, Barbara. "Classics and Feminism: Gendering the Classics." Characteristics of a Feminist Approach. N.p., 1998, October. Web. 30 Aug 2012.