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Feminist Literary Theory Ms. A. Stephens Benjamin E. Mays High School.

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Presentation on theme: "Feminist Literary Theory Ms. A. Stephens Benjamin E. Mays High School."— Presentation transcript:

1 Feminist Literary Theory Ms. A. Stephens Benjamin E. Mays High School

2 Quotes for comments: “What enrages me is the way women are used as extensions of men, mirrors of men, devices for showing men off, devices for helping men get what they want. They are never there in their own right, or rarely. The world of the Western contains no women. Sometimes I think the world contains no women.” -JANE TOMPKINS, “Me and My Shadow”

3 Student Quote “I have a male mind with male experiences. Therefore, I see things through the perception of a man. I couldn’t relate to some of Virginia Woolf’s view and I despised the way she pushed her view on the reader. This was brought on by my masculinity, I feel.” -Bill, Grade 12, after reading A Room of One’s Own

4 Student Quote “Being a feminist is not a gender-specific role.” -Erin, Grade 11

5 Feminism’s Goal Change the degrading view of women Help make all women realize that they are “significant” Make all women see that each woman is a valuable person possessing the same privileges and rights as every man Women must define their voices

6 Feminism’s Goal Hope to create a society in which the female voice is valued equally with the male

7 What Students Can See With Feminist Theory 1.How students view female characters and deal with the author’s treatment of those characters 2.How students evaluate the significance of the female in terms of her influence on the literary work 3.How students decipher and manipulate patterns in text, especially with the treatment of women

8 What’s Wrong With This Picture Feminist critics wish to show society the errors of ways of thinking concerning women Literature and society have frequently stereotyped women as angels, barmaids, bitches, whores, brainless housewives, or old maids Women must break free from such oppression and define themselves

9 How To Apply Images of the female body as presented in a text. This would highlight how various parts of the body are significant. (uterus and breasts) Female language. Look at differences between male and female language. Do women speak or write differently from men?

10 How To Apply The female psyche and its relationship to writing. Freud and Lacan are decent references.(hint, hint) Culture. Analyzing cultural forces (such as importance and value of women’s roles in a given society), critics investigate how society shapes a woman’s understanding of herself, her society, and her world.

11 Traditional vs.. Feminist She was a bad girl, a tease, and a flirt. She was a “beautiful little fool” who depended on her husband to take care of her. She’s just been treated poorly by her horrible, selfish, chauvinistic husband. She is not bad. Her husband took control of her and wouldn’t let her think for herself. She was doing her best within the limits of women’s role in society.

12 Traditional vs. Feminist She is the queen, she has some power. Gertrude is simply the mother of Hamlet and the queen of the country. She is more of a plot device than of thematic importance herself. She’s defined by her husbands and her son.

13 Works Cited Appleman, Deborah. Critical Encounters In High School English: Teaching Literary Theory to Adolescents. Urbana: NCTE, 2000. Bressler, Charles E. Literary Criticism: An Introduction to Theory and Practice. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall, 1994.

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