Mercy Ezeala, Regina Rudaityte


The postmodern idea of the self as fragmented and decentred in contrast with earlier traditions’ idea of a rational, stable and autonomous self has great implications in the positionality of the woman in patriarchal discourse. This study applied a close reading of The Awakening and The Golden Notebook based on ideas from the new French feminist’s theories of Kristeva, Cixous and Irigaray that indicate that the woman whose patriarchal discourses of Freud and Lacan placed outside the Symbolic, outside language has the resources to re-position and write herself as a subject. The paper used the ‘signification process’ by Kristeva, supported by ideas from the discourses of Irigaray and Cixous, to trace the woman’s progress through abjection into destabilising patriarchal representations of the female and rewriting herself. The female protagonists destabilised their entrenched representations, re-invented their own idea of femininity and affirmed The Awakening and The Golden Notebook as L’ecriture feminine (feminine writing).


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selfhood/subjectivity; signification process; L’ecriture feminine; The Awakening; The Golden Notebook

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