Images of Women in Emily Dickinson's Poetry

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Name: Elfreda Agyemang-Duah Index Number: 10243654 Course Code & Title: ENGL 608 American Literature Topic: Images of Women in Emily Dickinson’s Poetry Course Instructor: Prof. A.A. Sackey Introduction The representation of women in literature has been a major subject in literary circles. This basically stems from the way in which women are portrayed in literary works. In the western world, women writers from the time they were allowed onto the literary scene have challenged the way in which women are represented in male literature. They championed this cause believing the images of women in male authored works were all stereotypical and as such did not fully capture the images of women. In correcting this image, women are writing themselves and their stories. At the ferment of feminist literary criticism in the West, proponents like Kate Millet, Mary Shelley, Julia Kristeva and Elaine Showalter agitated for women’s work to be included in the literary canon this included women writers who wrote under male pseudonyms. Again, they criticised the acquisition of language in itself bringing out the biases which make it gear towards patriarchy more than being universal. Showalter also introduced the angle of Gynocriticism which she says is developing new models that are based on female experiences and not adapting male theories. The stereotypical images they talk of ranges from the women been represented in literature as a shrew, a cute-like angel, a nagging wife, a mother and other representations which continually aids the subordination of women in all spheres of life. This problem of representation or otherwise misrepresentation of women has not been the sole preserve of white feminists but women all over the continent are using literature as a tool to reconstruct the image of women in literature. They believe literature reflects and informs life
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