This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Feminist Approach Essay

2280 words - 9 pages

Feminist literary criticism is approach that is most concerned with the role of women within the context of literature. This includes how female characters are created and understood within any given text, in addition to the role of female authors and female readers. This paper shall focus on some of the theoretical concepts which have been contributed to the feminist literary discourse. It shall compare and contrast aspects of theory put forth by three prominent feminist critics, while also considering the arguments raised by three écriture feminine scholars. The feminist critics to be considered in this essay are Simone de Beauvoir, Elaine Showalter, Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar. Their arguments about the role of sexual difference, the depiction of females in a binary oppositions to male characters and authors, as well as the sociological statements that these roles make shall be discussed. The écriture feminine scholars Julia Kristeva, Hélène Cixous and Luce Irigaray shall be drawn upon in order to make the arguments of the feminist critics more clear, but also to offer their own critiques to feminist studies, and how they are manifested within the context of literature. Overall, this paper shall argue that the feminist understanding of the critique of literature is required to further the feminist agenda of equalized understanding not just between the male and female sex, but between all people.
The first theorist to discuss is Simone de Beauvoir. The author of a text which is called “The Second Sex”, de Beauvoir offers a specialized critique of the role of the woman within modern society at large, including the literary presence. She accomplishes this by identifying what she refers to as the “myth of woman” (de Beauvoir 41), and exploring the sociological effects of this particular myth. Before that may be discussed, however, one must understand what the myth of woman is in reference to. de Beauvoir explains that the myth of woman is the creation of a secondary sex, that which embodies all aspects which can not be associated with a male individual. It is a very difficult to challenge myth due to the naturalization of its origin; as de Beauvoir describes, the myth of the woman has become “ an immutable aspect of the human condition...a static myth” (41). So long as the myth of the woman is regarded as a static myth, nothing can be challenged or changed about it, which is exactly what de Beauvoir proposes should happen. Furthermore, while the understanding of the woman as myth is in place, what is being accomplished is a formal dehumanization, so to speak. She writes that “to pose Woman is to pose the absolute Other, without reciprocity, denying against all experience that she is a subject, a fellow human being”(41). This means that in the process of creating a secondary sex to identify a human being as, what is actually being accomplished is a branding outside of human nature; all aspects which are considered undesirable or unneeded...

Find Another Essay On The Feminist Approach

Feminist Approach to Moral Decision Making

1475 words - 6 pages Feminist Approach to Moral Decision Making While ethics theories often focus on justice, care, an "equally valid moral perspective," is usually disregarded because of male bias (Sterba, p. 52). The two perspectives are often harmonious, but a need for care point of view precedence exists. While truth is evident in both these statements, the problem of distinguishing between them becomes apparent soon after. Many feminist look to

Alice Munro's limited feminist approach in conveying a young girl's rite of passage in her short story "Boys and Girls"

1257 words - 5 pages Alice Munro's Boys and Girls attempts to use a limited feminist approach to convey a young girl's rite of passage into womanhood. Although the story has a strong viewpoint on the differences of a man and woman, the story also portrays the subtle differences emotionally between the two, often emotions that a child or adolescent cannot fight. Munro is found to use the relationship that the child shares with her mother and her father to communicate

undermining feminism

677 words - 3 pages agency lies with the male and Holmes is giving Mary his approval to perform a certain action. This diction significantly undermines the novel’s feminist view. These all serve to undermine the feminist viewpoint throughout The Beekeeper’s Apprentice. King’s The Beekeeper’s Apprentice illustrates society’s restriction of women’s access to professional roles as a relatively more destructive approach to weaken its feminist viewpoint. When Holmes and

Feminism and the Art of the Seventies

379 words - 2 pages of the feminist movement. Martha Rosler's work Vital Statistics of a Citizen Simply Obtained takes a clinical approach to the body and raises questions about female body image in society.Judy Chicago used performance art to channel her anger at society's stereotypes of women into a creative outlet.In the article there is considerable emphasis on the disproportionate number of men to woman that have been recognized in the art world. The number of

Feminist Therapy And Anorexia Nervosa

1697 words - 7 pages immediate weight gain. Often times the weight gain is forced through tube feedings. However, feminist therapy takes a much different approach. A feminist therapist encourages her clients to discover the meaning behind their behavior and the function it serves in their lives. So initially, the behavior is not forcibly stopped.Although feminist therapy is very diverse and complex, it does have many recurring themes. Giblin and Chan (1995) condense these

feminist theory in development

588 words - 3 pages intention behind this paper is to connect the feminist theories we learnt in the class to a practical application. I use western feminist theories to compare and critique the international development practices. In order to do my analysis, I began searching for articles that would elucidate the history of development theories and the world politics of the post World War II era. The approach of five-step process to development reflected the liberal

A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen

947 words - 4 pages Henrik Ibsen, author of one of the greatest drama plays A Doll House, is said this piece of work is a feminist play. Feminism is defined as a “collection of movements aimed at defining, establishing and defending equal political, economic, and social rights and equal opportunities for women”, according to Did Ibsen produce A Doll House to be a feminist play? No matter what or how much propaganda feminist have made toward A Doll

feminist art history

1633 words - 7 pages stratified system of values which are male inclines and this resulted to a hierarchy of art forms” (Pollock & Parker 2013, 50, Pollock 1988, 1). Nonetheless, feminist art historians have drawn to attention to the omission and neglect of female artists, either by refusing to acknowledge the conditions of women’s artistic practice, or using the Victorian approach to examine women’s art history, however, the most radical attempt

The Feminist Theory

1479 words - 6 pages recognizes the fact that some female and caring ethical issues have feminist features, and that most of the theorists who are developing female and/or caring approaches to ethics view themselves as feminists. It's difficult to see what makes an approach to ethics "feminist" as opposed to simply "female" and/or "caring." One can see where the Feminist theory is a unique theory.We didn't spend much time studying about it in class. The course book

Values in Urban Studies

2169 words - 9 pages ) shows how feminist urban geography like feminist anthropology show greater sensitivity to women’s issues. McDowell (1993) further argues that feminist geography, unlike positivist approach, shows how cultural understandings for concerns for the category of women vary through space and time. Essentially, McDowell (1993) is saying that as we define the construct of women in urban geography we should look at there geographical circumstances over

Feminist Theories and Gender

711 words - 3 pages heterosexuality (p. 11). Just so happens, I have lived long enough to witness some of the struggles and implications that whirl around the feminist theory conversations. The subjective diversity among women is duty-bound through gender, social status, and transnationally. Gender is the theoretical influence in society. The influential concept has become the crucial focal point through which a hypothetical approach defines and analyzes the world

Similar Essays

Limits And Challenges Of The Feminist Critical Approach

3325 words - 13 pages Feminist literary criticism is an approach to literary criticism that is most concerned with the role of women within the context of literature. This includes how female characters are created and understood within any given text, in addition to the role of female authors and female readers. This paper shall focus on some of the theoretical concepts which have been contributed to the feminist literary discourse. It shall compare and contrast

“Between Passion And Sin: A Postmodern Feminist Approach To Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter”

2748 words - 11 pages Keeping aside all the established theories of genre traditions the postmodern feminist approach to woman’s attitude toward the social restrictions and religious canons, can be analyzed in order to find the real identity of nineteenth century American woman. Such restrictions have affected her passions; derived her real happiness and freedom beyond the man made moral and religious systems of marriage and post-marital life. Man’s systems of

Explain The Poem, Hills Like White Elephants. A Feminist Approach To "Hills Like White Elephants"

809 words - 3 pages From a feminist point of view, Ernest Hemingway's "Hills Like White Elephants"uses a plethora of symbols to convey the idea that a young girl named Jig is a typical woman dealing with a woman's choice. Although the word abortion is never used in the story, the reader is lead to that conclusion through the use of symbolism.The story begins with Jig and her American boyfriend waiting for a train in the valley of Ebro, a symbolic use of the word

A Feminist Approach Essay

1221 words - 5 pages , why? I am mine, I have a soul, and nothing can own someone or something with a soul. Though somewhat confused, unaware, at times a human being with a feminist approach, I can be a woman in a society invented and determined by men, instead I never give this chance to give me an inferiority complex, I never put any limitations on my plans, and on my dreams. On the contrary, this reality provokes and lights them. This is a challenge.My teen years