Title

Voices from the Wild Zone: Feminist Awakenings in Selected Works of George Sand and Kate Chopin

Document Type

Thesis

Publication Date

1994

Advisor

Vera Theisen

Abstract

My research focused on four pieces of literature to examine awakenings as examples of the female voice. An awakening I defined as a woman rediscovering herself and the world around her. I consulted The Awakening and "The Story of an Hour" by Kate Chopin, an American woman, as well as La Petite Fadette and Indiana by George Sand, a Frenchwoman, to explore different types of awakenings within different contexts. To examine an awakening further, I used a theory explained by Elaine Showalter, a feminist critic, and Shirley and Edwin Ardener, anthropologists, as "The Wild Zone," an area of women¹s culture. The wild zone is outside the realm of male- dominated culture, so experiences occurring here are unique to women. I explained that these awakenings were derived from the wild zone. I also addressed the fact that restrictions on these awakenings, placed there by society, strengthen the entire experience because the women are forced to overcome them. I concluded that these authors, writing before modern feminist theory existed, spoke of the female experience and the difficulties faced in the wild zone.

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