English Literature Essay

5900 WordsDec 21, 201324 Pages
Pakistaniaat: A Journal of Pakistan Studies Vol. 1, No. 2 (2009) Pakistani Feminist Fiction and the Empowerment of Women By Zia Ahmed Introduction Fiction is born out of the society in which it lives and thrives. It continuously influences the living styles of the society. It does not ignore the changes in the society, synchronic or diachronic, rather portrays them in a befitting manner. For this purpose, a fiction writer portrays an ideal world which teaches, delights, and improves upon the existing set of circumstances. As such, he constructs a world of fiction, which, though abstract, is beautiful and attractive. Through this process the fiction writer succeeds in penetrating a message into the very soul of the society. In the portrayal of society, the representation of women emerges as the most significant aspect for the writers of English fiction as a part of feminism. Feminism is basically a movement that demands equal rights for women. It aims to identify women as creative and equal contributors of values. Some radical feminists, furthermore, think that the writing of women cannot be judged rightly by male critics and hence these women believe in gynocriticism. The feminist movement came further into the limelight because of modern Western writers like Virginia Woolf and Henrik Johan Ibsen. Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own (1929) and Ibsen’s A Doll’s House (1879) were of the first to develop a feminist consciousness. This consciousness was further enhanced by Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex (1953), while Julia Kristeva, Luce Irigaray, and Helene Cixous are other significant women writers who discovered new dimensions in the field of feminism. Based on the images of women represented in Western literature, especially English literature, such new dimensions of feminism were considered Western. But new dimensions of feminism continue to spread because, under

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