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March 19, 2009

The Moral Order

"The events of the work take their place within an order that satisfies one's sene of justice or one's sense of irony, which itself requires a belief in an order beyond the events of the work."(Donovan/Keesey 227)
This, quoted from Josephine Donovan's essay Beyond the Net: Feminist Criticism as a Moral Criticism, is the only worthwhile statement in the piece. Or perhaps it is simply the only sentence that really struck me as true and not attached to an agenda. Donovan's argument that women have been unjustly represented or criticised within literature has been heard many times over. The mis-representation of the "moral reality" of feminine characters has been confirmed, addressed and remedied quite some time ago. Donovan praises her sources that show strong feminine characters in their works and verbally attacks her sources who do not. "Any text which does not recognize the fundamental moral reality of women is sexist."(Donovan/Keesey 226)
"Their works are morally insufficient, for they do not attend to the independent reality of women."(Donovan/Keesey 233)
For Donovan to suggest that American literature today is written and criticised in a primarily sexist way is absurd. Male characters tend to be more masculine and less feminine than women in life, which is why it is represented as such in literature. Many women writers of our time create strong male and female characters in their work. Is Donovan saying that these writers are not attending to the independent reality of women?

Posted by QuinnKerno at March 19, 2009 3:05 PM


I agree with you Quinn. I don't think literature today is written in a primarily sexist way. There are several authors who can create strong male and female characters. I don't think current literature is leaning one way or another.

Posted by: Katie Vann at March 19, 2009 4:16 PM

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