Feminist Approach

By: Deanna, Christina, Peter, and Alex
 Feminist
criticism is concerned with the
impact of gender on writing and reading. A
feminist approach does not simply look at
literature from female writers or from
female characters. Instead, a feminist
approach to understanding literature
attempts to uncover what a particular text
has to say about gender differences.
Feminist criticism became a dominant force in Western literary
studies in the late 1970s, when feminist theory more broadly
conceived was applied to linguistic and literary matters. Since
the early 1980s, feminist literary criticism has developed and
diversified in a number of ways and is now characterized by a
global perspective.
Female authors traditionally have been ignored, discarded, and
poorly appreciated, and we need to recover those texts and offer
new, more productive and insightful readings of these texts.
Feminist critique also extends to systems of all kinds, including
academic curriculum, institutions, popular culture, language use,
The questions that this approach addresses are:
 What are feministic views?
 How are they applied in literature today?
The feminist
approach in literature
addresses the
problem of women
underrepresented in
the traditional cannon
 This approach shows
women in a new,
positive light
Often misunderstood
as “male bashing”
 Can turn a work of
literature onto a
political battle field
 Can be often viewed
as too theoretical
Using what we know from feminist literature, the depression, or
lack of motivation, described in the lines, “my mother lies in
bed, trying to die” suggests postpartum depression or general
expectations/”setbacks” of being a mother. To clarify, the role of
being a mother as perceived by society sometimes requires them
to give up previous aspirations for their future. The latter
(motherhood) seems to be more likely a problem, as the author
goes on to say “Eight years have passed, morning the same as
evening, and all the hours seconds minutes between them lean
and empty.” Postpartum depression doesn’t usually last eight
years. The author also mentions how “Eight years [have gone by]
and not one moment has...restored her will power, the Joy of
Labor, the power to recall something so vital to her being as the
Ethical Precepts of Judaism.” This might connect to the “Jewish
norm” for motherhood and how their role is defined. Also, the
author describes her mother rising out of bed like a lioness,
which is quite a flip-flop from her previous descriptions. This
might imply her mother’s inner strength which was up to then
smothered by this onset of depression, or apathy.
Approaches. virtuaLit, n.d. Web. 2
May 2012
"Feminism." Gender. Theory home, n.d. Web. 2
May 2012.
 http://www.mfa.gov.il/NR/rdonlyres/8E3C93

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