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The Literary Mother: Essays on Representations of Maternity and Child Care

Overview

The essays in this book examine the ideology of motherhood in British and American literature from the 16th to the 21st centuries. This book looks at the institution of motherhood, that is, at various cultural interpretations and manipulations of maternity. Presenting mothers whose roles are often empowering yet confining, these essays scrutinize three distinct aspects of motherhood: its social and cultural construction; the significance of maternal absence; and, finally, its representation as an agent of social ...
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Overview

The essays in this book examine the ideology of motherhood in British and American literature from the 16th to the 21st centuries. This book looks at the institution of motherhood, that is, at various cultural interpretations and manipulations of maternity. Presenting mothers whose roles are often empowering yet confining, these essays scrutinize three distinct aspects of motherhood: its social and cultural construction; the significance of maternal absence; and, finally, its representation as an agent of social change. Literary works examined include William Shakespeare's Venus and Adonis; Daniel Defoe's Roxana; John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath; Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury; Charles Dickens' Dombey and Son; Harriet Jacobs' Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl; Dorothy Leigh's The Mother's Blessing; and W.S. Penn's Killing Time with Strangers, among others.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786430468
  • Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/30/2007
  • Pages: 273
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 0.61 (d)

Meet the Author

Susan C. Staub is an English professor at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina.

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Table of Contents


Introduction     1
Social and Cultural Negotiations
"My throbbing heart shall rock you day and night": Shakespeare's Venus, Elizabeth, and Early Modern Constructions of Motherhood   Susan C. Staub     15
The "Unnatural" Mother-Daughter Relationship in Daniel Defoe's Roxana   Rebecca Shapiro     33
Of Home-Makers and Home-Breakers: The Deserving and the Undeserving Poor Mother in Depression Era Literature   Vivyan C. Adair     48
The Construction of Maternity in Southern Literature: Southern Ladies, Southern Mothers, Southern Mammies, and Maternal Sexuality   Mary M. Bendel-Simso     69
Negotiating Absence
The Absent Mother: Negotiations of Maternal Presence in the Gothic Mode   Ruth Bienstock Anolik     95
"The Instinct of Nature Spoke Audibly": Representations of the Mother-Child Bond in Mary Shelley's Fiction   Sharon L. Joffe     117
The Contested Site of Maternity in Charles Dickens's Dombey and Son   Melisa Klimaszewski     138
Negotiating Power
Dorothy Leigh's The Mother's Blessing and the Political Maternal Voice in Seventeenth-Century England   Edith Snook     161
"I, the Mother": Inscribing Maternal Right in Early Modern Mothers' Elegies   Donna J. Long     185
The Ethos of Motherhood and Harriet Jacobs' Vision of Racial Equality in Incidents in the Life of aSlave Girl   Grace McEntee     200
What to Do About Motherhood: Feminist Theory and Feminist Fiction Negotiate Motherhood's Dilemmas   Joyce Shaw Peterson     224
Ceremony and Power: The Significance of the Mother in Killing Time with Strangers   Tammy Wahpeconiah     245
About the Contributors     261
Index     263
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