choose some aspect of the Feminist criticism (not the entire theory, but a particular aspect) and apply that theory as a means of analyzing one of the novels you have read. There is no professor assigned prompt for this essay. This class is Advanced Composition and Critical Thinking, and part of being an advanced writer and a critical thinker is being able to come up with your own topic and thesis with certain parameters. You have to figure out what it is you want us to know about the novel when analyzed the particular lens of a particular theory.
Here are the questions that can be as a thesis:
- What does the work reveal about the operations (economically, politically,
socially, or psychologically) of patriarchy? How are women portrayed? How
do these portrayals relate to the gender issues of the period in which the
novel was written or is set? In other words, does the work reinforce or
undermine patriarchal ideology? (In the first case, we might say that the
text has a patriarchal agenda. In the second case, we might say that the
text has a feminist agenda. Texts that seem to both reinforce and under‐
mine patriarchal ideology might be said to be ideologically conflicted.)
- What does the work suggest about the ways in which race, class, and/or other
cultural factors intersect with gender in producing women’s experience?
- How is the work “gendered”? That is, how does it seem to define feminin‐
ity and masculinity? Does the characters’ behavior always conform to their
assigned genders? Does the work suggest that there are genders other than
feminine and masculine? What seems to be the work’s attitude toward the
gender(s) it portrays? For example, does the work seem to accept, question,
or reject the traditional view of gender?
- What does the work imply about the possibilities of sisterhood as a mode of
resisting patriarchy and/or about the ways in which women’s situations in the
world—economic, political, social, or psychological—might be improved?
- What does the history of the work’s reception by the public and by the
critics tell us about the operations of patriarchy? Has the literary work been
ignored or neglected in the past? Why? Or, if recognized in the past, is the
work ignored or neglected now? Why?
- What does the work suggest about women’s creativity? In order to answer
this question, biographical data about the author and historical data about
the culture in which she lived will be required.
- What might an examination of the author’s style contribute to the ongo‐
ing efforts to delineate a specifically feminine form of writing (for example,
- What role does the work play in terms of women’s literary history and liter‐
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