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Title: Doing femininity in the handmaid's tale and the bell jar
Authors: Abi Dib, Simona
Advisors: Ghandour, Sabah
Subjects: Femininity in literature
Atwood, Margaret Eleanor, 1939---Handmaid's tale
Plath, Sylvia--Bell Jar
Issue Date: 2014
This thesis examines the concept of doing femininity in The Handmaids Tale and The Bell Jar. Based on the notion that gender is cultural and constructed out of social doings, the thesis explores how the gender norms that combine agents of discipline and the belief in the determinism of nature, hampers womens resistance and emancipation that the feminist theories extol. The Handmaids Tale unfolds Plaths pessimistic views on motherhood regarding womens enslavement and the restriction of their choices, by depicting Esthers bell jar as a dystopian Republic that oppresses women. Gender performances that are imposed on women, once executed and repeated, are internalized. The internalization of the gender norms is consolidated by the agents of discipline, surveillance and punishment that essentialize gender differences. Doing femininity thus becomes a theory of conformity and the female body becomes more as a locus of social control than a tool of resistance. Through the protagonists failure to resist, The Handmaids Tale and The Bell Jar underscore the failure of the utopian feminist modes of emancipation in the face of the social institution, widening the gap between the theory and its practice.
Includes bibliographical references (p.76-81).

Supervised by Dr. Sabah Ghandour.
Rights: This object is protected by copyright, and is made available here for research and educational purposes. Permission to reuse, publish, or reproduce the object beyond the personal and educational use exceptions must be obtained from the copyright holder
Ezproxy URL: Link to full text
Type: Thesis
Appears in Collections:UOB Theses and Projects

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