The Woman Author: A Comparative Analysis

2449 WordsJun 23, 201810 Pages
The fundamental notion of the female writer evolved within the nineteenth century when women were, and continued to be, considered as inferior beings when compared to their male counterparts. This is especially noticeable within the literary canon, where female writers are sparsely included in ‘reputable’ works of literature, let alone incorporated into any canon at all. Virginia Woolf, in her essay titled “In a Room of One’s Own” (1925), details the apparent trials and tribulations that female writers in the Victorian era experience when attempting to become recognized within a literary community. The female author is revisited during the second-wave feminist movement by Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar in their psychoanalytic text,…show more content…
A lost canon of influential female writers appears to have a primary social consequence – one that women writers are unable to relate to the canon because it is essentially comprised of men. Thus, it is evident that female literary genius will always be difficult to locate in eras previous to feminist movements as a result of the overwhelming lack of exposure to women writers in popular canons, “[f]or Western literary history is overwhelmingly male – or, more accurately, patriarchal” (Gilbert and Gubar 1928). Woolf presents a hypothetical ‘solution’ to this problem of consistent exposure through the notion of literary androgyny, one that blends both male and female writing characteristics as a unified voice unrestrained by the context of gender. She states that “the androgynous mind is resonant and porous; that it transmits emotion without impediment; that it is naturally creative, incandescent and undivided”, which likely results from the appropriate capture of relevant gendered characteristics (Woolf 901). However, it is evident that feminist ideals are “headed in the opposite direction from androgyny; the latest phase of feminism has been dominated by a concerted effort to valorize the idea of ‘female difference’” (Restuccia 254). Frances
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