Books and Movies Reviews

Feminist approaches to women’s writing

Feminism refers to the theory or set of principles according to which women
refuse to acknowledge the importance of men in their lives. They reject the
notion that men and women complement each other and that they need to walk
together to keep the wheel of life running. Feminism has not only affected
politics or business organizations, but has left a deep impact on the world
of literature too where several women writers have adopted feminist stance.
The stories written by these writers and the characters they created, all
reflected a deeply feminist streak. In most of these works, a woman is
assigned the lead role so she could speak for the writer. Fay Weldon is
among one such British feminist writer whose novels have been considered
controversial by many as they reflect conflicting forms of feminism.
Weldon’s novels have been widely read and most of them received rave
reviews upon their publication, however there are still some critics who
feel that Weldon doesn’t always portray men-women relationship in the most
accurate manner. In other words, these critics are of the view that Fay
Weldon is not as keen or astute an observer of male-female relationship as
she would have us believe.

Karen Durbin in her review of one of Weldon’s novels writes:

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What we are shown is the bad stuff, convincingly portrayed, but
standing alone, a vision of punishment and torture, and one-sided
torture at that, the relationship of monsters and victims. At some
point, we stop believing. Life is more complicated than that, the war
between men and women is more complicated than that (if it weren’t,
women would have walked off the battlefield by now), and novels have
to be more complicated than that. There is a good novel here, but it’s
caught inside a tract. (34 quoted in Hogeland 1994)

Weldon has usually given a negative portrayal of men in the lives of her
heroines. She appears to…


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