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February 26, 2007

we can learn from literature

"Literature on its most profound level is a form of learning. We learn, we grow from the knowledge of life, of psychology, of human behavior and realtionshiops that we discover in worthwhile works of art."

Donovan complained in her essay Beyond the Net: Feminist Criticism as a Moral Criticism, argued the point that women were represented not as free, moral, human beings but as stereotypes of good and evil whose only function was to help or hinder the male. In most worthwhile works, there are negative images of women and the women are used as a vehicle for the male's growth in self-awareness.

Western literature does not provide women with such models of behavior and only provides the moral learning experience. However, as Donovan quotes from Muroch, art and literature in a particular novel are important vehicles for the liberation of people from fantasy mechanisms. These can foster the growth of moral attention to reality of oneself. Great writers help the audience to open their eyes to the reality of life and see all of the diversity and allows the readers to make choices to become responsible and informed.

Not to sound to feminist, but is noticed through some contemporary novels and other pieces of literature taht the image of women has not changed and women are still idenified as something other than themselves.

Posted by Denamarie at February 26, 2007 1:15 PM

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I agree. I wrote something similar. While I'm not partial to feminist critricism, I really do see that she has an argument. I think if an author is truly great, they can transcend a woman beyond her stereotype.

Posted by: Erin at February 28, 2007 2:02 PM

I am certainly not a feminist, but I agree with many of the points that Donovan created in her essay. Women were imprisoned in literature, only known for being a place of reproduction or imprisonment. There is a reality of human nature that is presented by Donovan, which follows the conventions behind a mimetic criticism. The importance of this essay lies within the fact that both genders are representing in this realism, and thus, the males are more effected by this, because they themselves cannot deny that women equaled houses. Not only is reality represented by Donovan, morals are also represented in the essay, because Donovan has used characters that represented the reality of how women were treated.

Posted by: Jason Pugh at February 28, 2007 10:52 PM

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