Drowning in rational discourse Strategies of survival in Margaret Atwood's "Surfacing", Marilynne Robinson's "Housekeeping", and Louise Erdrich's "Tracks"

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Description: A great deal of feminist scholarship identifies the Enlightenment as the critical moment that secured the exclusion of women from the dominant patriarchal discourse. Recognizing the limitations of simply adapting rationality, feminists often consider developing discourses that do not adhere to its standards. Explorations of such possibilities, however, often remain in the theoretical realm without a clear image of the trajectory women might follow. Though feminists provide a clear understanding of why a woman considers abandoning rationality, they often fail to discern how she might do so without succumbing to madness. In the ensuing paper, I will engage the Enlightenment debate between Rousseau and Wollstonecraft to demonstrate its lasting impact on the positions women occupy in relation to rationality. I will then investigate the ways in which women negotiate rationality both within and beyond the social structure through analysis of Margaret Atwood's Surfacing , Marilynne Robinson's Housekeeping , and Louise Erdrich's Tracks .
Language: English
Format: Degree Work