Women in literature critical views

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Emma Kirby - madness, independence

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Emma Kirby - madness, independence

“the madness of women is indicative of something greater than individual instability - they point to the lack of stories available to women, to a world of literature dominated by patriarchal discourse”

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Woolf, Room of Ones Own - perspective, public vs private

“this is an important book, the critics assumes, because it deals with war. This is an insignificant book because it deals with the feelings of women in a drawing room“

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3

Hill Rigney - sex, love, self

“sex and love, for both septimus and clarissa as for jane eyre, threaten a violation of the inner self which one must struggle to keep intact“

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4

Mozely (1848) - Jane Eyre, desire, rebellion

“burning with revolutionary french anti-monarchists“

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5

DH Laurence - passion, sexuality, Jane Eyre

“verged toward pornography“

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6

Zwerdling - Mrs Dalloway, class, status, femininity

the female is either “shaped or deformed“ by her standing in the social system

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7

Gilbert and Gubar - Jane Eyre, red room

“a kind of patriarchal death chamber“

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8

Billington - Jane Eyre, rebellion, escape

when jane leaves “there is no sense of feminist emancipation…nothing that feels like an achievement…only lonliness and longing…this is heroism that has no glamour of the heroic“

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9

Billington - writing, genre, rebellion, jane eyre

“not only the heroine, but the novelistic form which shapes her, are challenging conventional norms“

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10

Woolf (diary) - mrs dalloway, doubles, madness

a desire to see “the world seen by the sane and the insane“

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11

Woolf - expectations of femininity, angel in the house

“killing the angel in the house was part of the occupation of a woman writer“

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12

Zwerdling - mrs dalloway, class, status

clarissa and her class are “living on borrowed time“

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13

Groover - mrs dalloway, marriage, choice

“viewing the house as a potentially liminal space reveals the extent to which clarissa has chosen this life, not only for its priviliges ad protections, but for the deep sense of privacy it affords her, and with that privacy the freedom of her imagination“

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14

Ranthee - mrs dalloway, madness, medical institutions

“septimus, being clarissa’s double and alter ego, reaffirms virginia’s ‘vehement indictment’ of the horrors of women’s psychiatric incarceration“

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15

Poovey - jane eyre, governesses

“there were strong middleclass fears about inappropriate governesses, who instead of functioning as a bulwark against immorality, were the conduit through which it infected the home“

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16

Hill Rigney - madness, passion

“in jane eyre, the price of sexual committment is the loss of self in madness or death. in mrs dalloway, madness becomes a kind of refugue for the self rather than its loss“

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17

E.M Forster - mrs dalloway, doubling, status

“the societified lady and the obscure maniac are in a sense the same person. his foot slipped through the gay surface on which she still stands“

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18

Hill Rigney - mrs dalloway, gender expectations

“[clarissa and septimus are seen] as essentially ‘feminine’ in that both are victimised, to varying extents, by a male-supremacist system“

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19

Bournhela - female power, restraints

“this fantasied female power is continually tethered and troubled by the realist narrative of social determination and patriarchal imbrication”

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20

Showalter - madness, sexuality

“sexual appetite was considered one of the chief symptoms of moral insanity in women: it was subject to severe sanctions and was regarded as abnormal or pathological“

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21

George Elliot - public v private

“there is no private life that has not been determined by a wider public life“

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22

Gilbert and Gubar - jane eyre, bertha, helen, emotion, expectation

“the fate of victorian women who, like helen, cannot express her anger or, like bertha, cannot contain it, is erased from the text“

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23

Grudin - sexuality, morality

“sexual license in a woman is unforgivable, irreversible and literally unspeakable“

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24

Southey (1837) - priorities of women

“literature cannot be the business of a woman’s life, and it ought not to be“

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25

Schroder - female roles, rebellion

“it is the feminine in the novel that so often destabilises the sociohistorical perimeters that seek to limit human idenity…through the figure of the female, political and patriarchal hegemony is overthrow“

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26

Wood - jane eyre, jane and rochester’s relationship, patriarchal values

“the relationship between jane and rochester cannot operate wholly within a patriarchal system, but neither can it escape it“

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27

Gilbert and Gubar - jane eyre, bertha’s laugh, doubling

“the laugh [Bertha’s] is the voice of jane’s submerged and inner self, which lurks behind the bars of social restraint“

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28

Tambling - mrs dalloway, spaces, public vs private

“[big ben and westminster are] the very embodiment of patriarchy, both assertive and restrictive“

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29

Showalter - mrs dalloway, peter, masculinity

“[peter walsh] cannot reconcile alleged ideals with real feelings and acts“

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30

Woolf - mrs dalloway, doubling, madness, death

“mrs dalloway was originally to kill herself“

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31

Elkin - writing, freedom, rebellion

“for some women, writing is a way of stepping out of bound“

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32

Showalter - madness, feminine

“cultural tradition that represents ‘woman’ as madness and that uses images of the female body…to stand for irrationality in general“

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33

Batchelor - mrs dalloway, public vs private

“[mrs dalloway] uses the idea of a public and a private life as a means of exploring an opposition between a masculine view of the world (that of doing) and a feminine view (that of feeling)“

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34

Woolf - modernism

“the ‘proper stuff of fiction’ does not exist: everything is the proper stuff of fiction“

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35

Tillotson - jane eyre, rebellion, outsider

jane eyre expresses a “voice from the dangerous class of oppressed or ‘outlawed’ women“

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36

Rose - status, marriage, patriarchal authority

“the name of the husband is one of the strongest insigna of patriarchal power“

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37

William Acton (1857) - female roles, domestic sphere, asexuality

“love of home, children and domestic duties are the only passions women feel“

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38

Billington - jane eyre, gender roles

“jane…does not and will not fit the female roles conventionally assigned to her“

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39

Winterson - public vs private, narrative

“trying to get away from the recieved idea that women always write about ‘experience’ - the compass of what they know, while men write wide and bold - the big canvas, the experiment with form“

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Woolf - modernism, fiction

“the proper stuff of fiction is little other than custom would have us believe it“

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41

Garnallo - oranges, jane eyre, narrative, fantasy

integrating stories and reality “subverts the possibility of a single authority reading of fiction“

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42

Bettleheim - narrative authority

“experience cannot be explained or legitimised by a singular overarching narrative“

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43

Winterson - narrative authority, perspective

“everyone who tells a story tells it differently, just to remind us that everyone sees it differently“

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44

Winterson - multiple stories, truth

“we too are another story. not caught, not confined, not predestined, not only one gender or passion“

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45

Morlan - oranges, dismantling narratives

“winterson may be seen to be answering woolf’s famous call for women-centred texts in which ‘heterosexual masculinity’ is not the default term“

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46

Elkin - quiet rebellion, private vs public

“we may keep the home fire burning, or we may burn the house down; we may stay home, burning inwardly, or we may take off in a conflagration of self-assertion. we watch the fires of destruction, of desire, and wonder what we can risk, and what we might gain“

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47

Dibattista and Nord - writing, rebellion

“writing was not only equal to activism but also to leaving the domestic realm…women’s fictions faced outward“

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48

Adrienne Rich - rebellion, female relationships

“women's struggle against powerlessness, women's radical rebellion, not just in male-defined "concrete revolutionary situation" but in all the situations male ideologies have not perceived as revolutionary”

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49

Rich - female relationships as resistance

female relationships are a “nay-saying to patriarchy, an act of resistance"

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50

LaMonaca - jane eyre, helen burns, rebellion

“Helen models for Jane an independence of thought on matters of theology and doctrine”

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51

Vicky Simpson - jane eyre, narrative authority

“Jane frequently invokes the truth, but complicates the very notion of truth by repeatedly emphasising that there is always more than one story”

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52

Meyer - jane eyre, colonial authority

“interconnection between the ideology of male domination and the ideology of racial domination… in order to emphasise the inferiority of both to white men”

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53

Bronte - jane eyre, narrative, religion

“Conventionality is not morality. Self-righteousness is not religion."

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54

Chase - jane eyre, rochester, injury

Rochester’s injuries as a “symbolic castration“

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55

Gilbert and Gubar - jane eyre, societally acceptable behaviour

"The occasional woman who has a weakness for black-browed Byronic heroes can be accommodated in novels and even in some drawing rooms; the woman who yearns to escape entirely from drawing rooms and patriarchal mansions cannot."

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56

Griffin - oranges, mother, power

Janette’s mother is “the 'gatekeeper' for patriarchy”

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