« Let's Work Together | Main | How Embarrassing »

February 25, 2007

Morality in Life

Donovan, ''Beyond the Net: Feminist Criticism as a Moral Criticism'' -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

"This does not mean that we should throw out or refuse to read these works, but that they should be read with a perspective that recognizes the sexism inherent in their moral vision" (230).

I was glad to read this explicitly in Donovan's essay because prior to the above statement, I was concerned that she felt it only worthy to read and study works that portrayed women as "authentic" and as independent beings just as capable as men of growth and change. That would certainly have cut out a large number of great works from the cannon.

Yet, I worry that by being constantly on the lookout for works with "the sexism inherent in their moral vision" could make reading a work less enjoyable as well as less effective in other terms. But, she still makes a strong case overall.

I am a little confused about Donovan's preoccupation with the idea that "great art is sustained by the integrity of a moral vision" (227). She makes it sound as though all literature should emphasize what is morally right, (such as recognizing women as a separate self, not an object or "other") is that what she is saying? If it is I want to point out that something I have noticed in literature, as in life, is that what is morally right is not always 100% certain. A conflict often arises out of a question of morality. It would be wrong to assume that all that people do in life is morally correct (if we were even able to define universally what is to be considered moral) and therefore if all of literature served the purpose of teaching the reader what is moral, it would not be an accurate representation of life. It fails at its mimetic attempt.

Posted by LorinSchumacher at February 25, 2007 11:01 PM


I didn't understand what morality had to do with it. I don't see her connection to the importance of morality.

Posted by: Mitchell Steele at March 1, 2007 3:36 PM

Post a comment

Remember Me?