1960s Feminisms influence on The Diviners

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It is the journey to self-fulfillment that has often led the female through many hard times and struggles. In a similar fashion, the voyage for females to gain control over their own lives and bodies in the 1960’s was difficult. Margaret Laurence portrays this in “The Diviners” as the protagonist, Morag Gunn tells her story with chronological flashbacks helping to narrate the current events in her life. Morag’s road to understanding the self mirrors and is influenced by the time leading up to and during the feminist movement in the 1960’s. Prior to the 1960’s feminist movement, women’s literature was not seen in the same light as it was then. According to Elaine Showalter who talks about the history of women literature having 3 parts that contributed the growth of feminism. The first part she talks about is Androgynist Poetics which states that the creative mind is sexless another is The Female Aesthetic which believed that only a female could properly interpret a woman’s text. Showwalter said that “some feminists and women writers could feel excluded by the surreality of the Female Aesthetic and its stress on the biological forms of female experience” (Lee). The third part was Gynocritics, which tried to “revise Freudian structures and... emphasized a Pre-Oedipal phase wherein the daughter's bond to her mother inscribes the key factor in gender identity” (Lee). All three parts relate back to Morag’s character. Morag is a writer and would like to agree with the Androgynist poetics and the notion that creativity is genderless and does not pertain to a particular sex but she faces the problem that arises with the Female Aesthetic where emphasis is put on the physical part of being a female. Morag is insecure when she is young because she does not know how to flirt and use that side of her femininity. She feels like will not “ever attain the status of high
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