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Telling Stories

Permanent Link: http://ncf.sobek.ufl.edu/NCFE003501/00001

Material Information

Title: Telling Stories Narratives of Female Identity in Three Canadian Novels
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Crowther, Jillian
Publisher: New College of Florida
Place of Publication: Sarasota, Fla.
Creation Date: 2005
Publication Date: 2005

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: Female Identity
Canadian Novels
Atwood, Margaret
Herbert, Anne
Laurence, Margaret
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: This thesis addresses the complicated relationship in contemporary Canadian women's narratives between history and memory, and the construction of female identity. I examine three novels that are framed by an actual historical event: Margaret Atwood's Alias Grace, Anne Hebert's Kamouraska, and Margaret Laurence's The Diviners. Through the interplay of personal recollection and dominant forms of discourse, i.e. History, all three novels create a female identity that assumes power through its active contestation of a unitary truth or self. In Chapter 1 on Alias Grace, storytelling affords its protagonist some distance from society's misperceptions of her character. If storytelling can be defined as a manipulation of the truth, the chapter claims that this manipulation is what provides agency and allows the protagonist to create a self apart from public judgment. Relating her past to another affords the main character control over her self, but the chapter acknowledges that given the struggle between narrator and listener for control of the narrative, female identity remains fluid and plural. Like the main character in Alias Grace, the heroine of Hebert's Kamouraska also desires protection from societal judgments. My analysis focuses on the manipulation of language rather than the effects of engaging others with one's story. By using different linguistic strategies, the heroine avoids her own complicit guilt in a murder, and also creates a sense of self that is separate from the one the Law enforces. Margaret Laurence's The Diviners brings forth guild of a different sort: the guilt of allowing one's self and other to be silenced. Laurence's protagonist is a writer who re-writes the history of those ostracized in some way by larger Canadian society. She unburies the history of minor cultures hidden in a multitude of written and oral forms: songs, myths, etc. This chapter ties together the ideas presented in the previous two chapters. Laurence's work is the most straight-forward in its articulation of the links between identity, narrative, history and memory. The chapter focuses on practical strategies for dealing with the silence of one's and others past. Whereas the other two novels focus on looking back, Laurence's characters maintain a strong grasp on the present through the re creation of their pasts. In closing, this thesis explores how narrative shapes female identity, and how this identity engages with individual memory and defies traditional, and often patriarchal claims of an immobile and silent self. Even though these are three Canadian novels, the truths revealed relate to women's literature as a whole.
Statement of Responsibility: by Jillian Crowther
Thesis: Thesis (B.A.) -- New College of Florida, 2005
Electronic Access: RESTRICTED TO NCF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The New College of Florida, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Local: Faculty Sponsor: Reid, Amy

Record Information

Source Institution: New College of Florida
Holding Location: New College of Florida
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: local - S.T. 2005 C95
System ID: NCFE003501:00001

Permanent Link: http://ncf.sobek.ufl.edu/NCFE003501/00001

Material Information

Title: Telling Stories Narratives of Female Identity in Three Canadian Novels
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Crowther, Jillian
Publisher: New College of Florida
Place of Publication: Sarasota, Fla.
Creation Date: 2005
Publication Date: 2005

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: Female Identity
Canadian Novels
Atwood, Margaret
Herbert, Anne
Laurence, Margaret
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: This thesis addresses the complicated relationship in contemporary Canadian women's narratives between history and memory, and the construction of female identity. I examine three novels that are framed by an actual historical event: Margaret Atwood's Alias Grace, Anne Hebert's Kamouraska, and Margaret Laurence's The Diviners. Through the interplay of personal recollection and dominant forms of discourse, i.e. History, all three novels create a female identity that assumes power through its active contestation of a unitary truth or self. In Chapter 1 on Alias Grace, storytelling affords its protagonist some distance from society's misperceptions of her character. If storytelling can be defined as a manipulation of the truth, the chapter claims that this manipulation is what provides agency and allows the protagonist to create a self apart from public judgment. Relating her past to another affords the main character control over her self, but the chapter acknowledges that given the struggle between narrator and listener for control of the narrative, female identity remains fluid and plural. Like the main character in Alias Grace, the heroine of Hebert's Kamouraska also desires protection from societal judgments. My analysis focuses on the manipulation of language rather than the effects of engaging others with one's story. By using different linguistic strategies, the heroine avoids her own complicit guilt in a murder, and also creates a sense of self that is separate from the one the Law enforces. Margaret Laurence's The Diviners brings forth guild of a different sort: the guilt of allowing one's self and other to be silenced. Laurence's protagonist is a writer who re-writes the history of those ostracized in some way by larger Canadian society. She unburies the history of minor cultures hidden in a multitude of written and oral forms: songs, myths, etc. This chapter ties together the ideas presented in the previous two chapters. Laurence's work is the most straight-forward in its articulation of the links between identity, narrative, history and memory. The chapter focuses on practical strategies for dealing with the silence of one's and others past. Whereas the other two novels focus on looking back, Laurence's characters maintain a strong grasp on the present through the re creation of their pasts. In closing, this thesis explores how narrative shapes female identity, and how this identity engages with individual memory and defies traditional, and often patriarchal claims of an immobile and silent self. Even though these are three Canadian novels, the truths revealed relate to women's literature as a whole.
Statement of Responsibility: by Jillian Crowther
Thesis: Thesis (B.A.) -- New College of Florida, 2005
Electronic Access: RESTRICTED TO NCF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The New College of Florida, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Local: Faculty Sponsor: Reid, Amy

Record Information

Source Institution: New College of Florida
Holding Location: New College of Florida
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: local - S.T. 2005 C95
System ID: NCFE003501:00001

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