We are currently undergoing maintainence, please come back soon. This essay offers a very basic introduction to feminist literary theory, and a compendium of Great Writers Inspire resources that can be approached from a feminist perspective.
It provides suggestions for how material on the Great Writers Inspire site can be used as a starting point for exploration of or classroom discussion about feminist approaches to literature. The A-level context For both the A2 Reflections in Literary Studies unit and the extended comparative essay, it is helpful to approach a collection of texts from a thematic rather than period or writer-based approach. One example of such an angle is to examine literature by or depicting women, and to consider the development of feminist literature, in no small part because ‘feminist perspectives’ is one of the suggested ways of grouping texts for the A2 Unit ‘Texts in Time. In this early stage of feminist criticism, critics consider male novelists’ demeaning treatment or marginalisation of female characters. The first is the examination of female writers and their place in literary history.
The second is the consideration of the treatment of female characters in books by both male and female writers. The ‘Feminist’ Phase – in the feminist phase, the central theme of works by female writers was the criticism of the role of women in society and the oppression of women. The ‘Female’ Phase – during the ‘female’ phase, women writers were no longer trying to prove the legitimacy of a woman’s perspective.
Rather, it was assumed that the works of a women writer were authentic and valid. The female phase lacked the anger and combative consciousness of the feminist phase. Do you agree with Showalter’s ‘phases’?
How does your favourite female writer fit into these phases? Bertha Jenkins of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, Rochester’s mad wife hidden away in the attic of Thornfield Hall. French feminists postulate the existence of a separate language belonging to women that consists of loose, digressive sentences written without use of the ego. How does Jane Austen fit into French Feminism?