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Women’s Liberation and Literature

Women’s Liberation and LiteratureElaine ShowalterHarcourt Brace Jovanovich1971

Women’s Liberation and Literature provides students an opportunity to consider for themselves the essential issues raised by past and present movements to liberate women and encourages them to contemplate whether or not there is a feminine consciousness in literature. The subject of women figures significantly in many fields – psychology, sociology, and history, for example, in addition to literature – and the selections in this book, chosen to provide variations on feminist themes, suggest the range. The book brings together examples of fiction, poetry, and drama dealing with the feminine experience, and historical, psychological, and sociological statements about women.

Table of Contents:

Part One: Major Texts of Feminism
Mary Wollstonecraft: Observations on the State of Degradation to Which Woman Is Reduced by Various Causes
John Stuart Mill: From The Subjugation of Women

Part Two: Literature By and About Women
Henrik Ibsen: A Doll’s House
Elizabeth Barrett Browning: From Aurora Leigh
Anne Sexton: For My Lover Returning to His Wife/Abortion/Housewife
Sylvia Plath: Lesbos
Dorothy Parker: Mr. Durant
Mary McCarthy: Cruel and Barbarous Treatment

Part Three: Literary Criticism
George Henry Lewes: The Lady Novelists
Virginia Woolf: From A Room of One’s Own
Elizabeth Hardwick: The Subjugation of Women
Mary Ellmann: Phallic Criticism
Hortense Calisher: No Important Woman Writer

Part Four: Women and Psychology
Marynia F. Farnham and Ferdinand Lundberg: Some Aspects of Woman’s Psyche
Betty Friedan: The Sexual Solipsism of Sigmund Freud
Naomi Wesstein: Psychology Constructs the Female, or the Fantasy Life of the Male Psychologist

Part Five: Contemporary Views
Kate Millett: Theory of Sexual Politics
Ernest Van Den Haag: How Now Kate?
Jonathan Yardley: Women’s Lib Gets Rough