Virginia Woolf was a declared feminist, although critics find it a struggle to claim her works for feminism. Her writing style—the multiplicity of perspectives and her stream of consciousness technique—were argued to be presenting a “denial of authentic states of mind, namely the ‘angry and alienated ones’” (Elaine Showalter). Woolf has also been accused of simply subscribing to the “separation of politics and art” because she refuses to “describe her own experience,” instead always relying on shifting points of view (Moi 3). However, it may be possible to reclaim Woolf’s works for feminism by reevaluating these same aspects of her work. Is she demonstrating a new way to grapple with language to suit the needs of the woman in the modern age?
Jane Austen is well-known for her witty dialogue, back-and-forth banter between characters, and free-indirect discourse; yet, Persuasion is a complete departure from all of her previous works. Persuasion is a more ‘adult’ novel, with the female protagonist as a 27-year-old unmarried woman. Her once betrothed, whom she denied due to his lack of wealth and societal stature after persuaded by her aunt, has returned to her life seven years later. The lack of dialogue that ensues between these two characters throughout the majority of the novel creates a level of excruciating passion and anticipation that is palpable, and unmatched in any other work by Austen. Focusing on the sensory capabilities of the two characters creates a sensual environment where the body remains in the foreground. When reviewing Austen’s breach from the traditional overload of dialogue and new reliance on body language, the power of perception and keen sensual prowess, do we in fact have a more ‘adult’ geared book, matching her own age, and possible longing for more sensuality, and less games?
I would compare Austen's previous works to this novel to get a better sense of what has changed in terms of story mechanics.
– BMartin432 days ago
Fan fiction has a rather negative image within the literary genres. Works such as Fifty Shades of Grey do not not necessarily help the genre to renegotiate its stand in the literary world. Why is it that fan fiction is oftentimes seen as problematic? What are some positive examples? What might be the future of fan fiction?
For a shining example of the heights that fan fiction can achieve, I would suggest looking into Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality. It takes the source material and elevates it into something brilliant, profound and even life-altering. – Lokesh Krishna4 weeks ago
This is going to be a long comment but first, I really do think this question is relevant so good job. I just want to add a few things (mainly for the future writer): I gather that by fanfiction you mean those posted online for nonprofit purposes. It would be interesting to compare the impression people have of those works in comparison to "Wicked", modern Dracula/Frankenstein/etc. rewrites, those based on an existing work (ex. "Dorothy must Die" by Danielle Paige), etc. The distinction between professionally written "fanwork" and others might influence what you consider examples of fanfiction in your second question. For the first question, is there a conclusion to be drawn from people's impression of works when produced professionally? Do people assume that had a work been good it would have been published, and so works online are thus of lesser quality? Or is online fanfiction mocked because of the idea that the internet is a young person's playground, and thus online writers must be younger/less experienced? There is also the notion that fanwork is necessarily erotica which might make it seem cheaper to some. [Note: While it is also possible to discuss the pros/cons of fanworks in terms of queer representation/copyright/etc. the best thing about your question is that it's focused on people's perception of fanwork, so I wouldn't broaden the topic to include its actual workings]. For the third, one can look at the influence fans have on writers: it would be easier to see said influence on shows, but it would be interesting to see if book authors are influenced similarly. I guess my only issue then is that your topic is still very broad, and all three of your questions could make separate articles. I'm not sure I would ask you to focus on one question yet, but it would definitely be to your advantage. Still, an interesting topic. – Rina Arsen3 weeks ago
As a personal opinion (haven't read but watched one movie and have heard a lot of talk about it's origins), and one the future writer might use, I see it as completely irrelevant that it started out as a fan fiction because the end product doesn't rely on the source of inspiration. It's just a big messed up relationship. The fact that we constantly tie it back to it's fanfiction origins is proof that fanfic has a bad connotation, one that we should address and assess. If it doesn't affect the content, why are we still bringing it up? Why is it such a big deal? Readers of this article should ask themselves those questions. – Slaidey1 week ago
Consider how mythology-based stories that articulate the hero’s journey are presented in classical literature. Compare and contrast this with present day literary genres and how older and more modern texts can impact upon a person’s everyday life. Some contemporary examples could include: The Lord of the Rings; The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe; Harry Potter; and His Dark Materials.
I think a great example of this is Shakespeare's The Tempest. The story of the island that Prospero has brought Miranda and shipwrecked his enemies, contains many modern tropes. Jealousy, betrayal, romance, etc. There are themes of colonialism, and also ones of man vs nature (similar to Tolkien's work). As far as modernism, it was a response to the enlightenment and Romanticism. As a response to those things, it focused on freedom of the individual. I would suggest that anyone writing on this topic, go and read Kant's "Critique of the Power of Judgement", Plato's The Republic and read a romantic novel such as Pride and Prejudice. Then take modern works and see how they could be a response to some of these works. – Richard Krauss1 week ago
Compare and contrast the Other/Alien and the Human. What is a human? Is there such a thing as a "superior race"? Texts to consider: Ursula Le Guin’s "The Left Hand of Darkness", China Mieville’s "Embassytown" and A. E. van Vogt’s "Black Destroyer".
I have been taking a science fiction literature course at Uni and I feel that a great novel to discuss is the War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells and the discussion that the "other" are those who were under the thumbs of the British military during resource wars. The novel comments on cultural atrocities committed by the British Empire and the demonization of many countries, in order to rule them and replenish the Empire's need for resources. The novel uses Martians that invade Britain and relentlessly attack the human race in order to take over. That's all I can say without spoiling it but if you need any notes please let me know. – Esme942 weeks ago
What picture does Steinbeck draw for us in The Grapes of Wrath of the world in terms of God’s place in it, nature, human nature, and the artifices in place before the Great Depression and the artifices that needed to be changed in response to the Great Depression?
Significant to note that during the roaring twenties the free market and business enterprise were deified via the re-emergence of Adam Smith's theories and the rise of social Darwinism. This free-market, laissez-faire ideology was severly problematized by the events of the Depression-era. – Jonathan Judd2 weeks ago
From constructing his own languages to developing the universum of Middle Earth, J. R. R. Tolkien has left its mark on the literary world, as well as the field of linguistics. It might be interesting to look at how much his work has influenced the fantasy genre. How does Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit compare to newer conceptions like e.g. Game of Thrones? What elements of Tolkien’s work carried on to other fantasy narratives?
Another interesting aspect to this topic could be to compare the mythologies underlying Tolkien's work and other more contemporary mythology-based fantasy fiction novels - particularly those that articulate the hero's journey. – Toula2 weeks ago
Analyze how children’s literature has changed over the years to be more inclusive and to have strong female protagonists. One example of this theme is The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munch.
This is an interesting topic. I cannot say I am familiar with many strong female protagonists in children's literature other than The Paper Bag Princess. That goes to show there should be more – Riccio9 months ago
You could start with Jo in Little Women and Anne in Anne of Green Gables plus Pippi Longstocking and Ramona and Beezus. – Munjeera9 months ago
It's stupid to have male heroes only since men are stronger than women, as a group, but not the dragons, etc., that are so often slain in children's literature. This father of two female dragon slayers says, "Great topic." – Tigey9 months ago
Look at Hans Christian Andersen's "The Snow Queen"--in that story, the little girl, Gerda, is the one who embarks on the dangerous journey to save the boy, Kay. Also, some of George McDonald's fairytales feature interesting female protagonists, as does Oscar Wilde's "The Canterville Ghost." – Allie Dawson5 months ago
Don't forget Hansel and Gretel, wherein Gretel is the one who ultimately defeats the witch. Feminism is a lot older than we think. Some other great examples of feminism in children's lit:
1. Amazing Grace (can't remember the author right now): Grace, a young black girl, is determined to get the lead in her class' production of Peter Pan, although her classmates say a black girl can't play the role.
2. Homecoming (Cynthia Voigt): Dicey Tillerman, 13, takes over the role of mother and leads her 4 siblings to a new home after their mentally ill mother disappears.
3. The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle (Avi): Charlotte, a young girl growing up in the 1830s, becomes a crew member on the Seahawk during a voyage from England to America, and helps put down a ruthless captain.
4. Dear America and American Girl books: many of these have strong female protagonists. Focus on Julie, Kit, and Felicity for particular AG examples. – Stephanie M.4 months ago
Also, try Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. – Munjeera2 months ago