Thus, by contrast with Bradstreet's self-imposed humility, Fuller displays a very high-regard for herself, obviously influenced by the Transcendentalist movement which was centered on the self. In her writings and meditations, Fuller makes use of the Transcendentalist philosophy to extol the self and at the same time to promote the equality between men and women, which is a logical consequence of the privileged position of the human being and of the spirit in the hierarchy of the creation. In he poetry as well as in her essays and memoirs, Fuller's most tackled themes are the position of Man in the universe, the importance of the human self, and the necessity for recognizing the place of women as equal to men in society. The gender hierarchy is thus one of the most poignant themes of her work. As Romano Carlin has shown, Fuller's probably most competent critic, Charles Capper, defended her works against her detractors by showing that she deftly used the Transcendentalist philosophy of the self, to assert the equal importance of the female self along with the male: "He [Capper] demonstrates that Fuller 'reconfigured' Transcendentalism, advancing 'a vitalist reformulation of the Transcendental alchemy that Emerson had presented.' She did that by expanding its masculine, introspective tropes, its exaltation of the Imperial Self, in a cosmopolitan direction and toward freedom for women too."(Romano, 5) the critics thus contend that Fuller's work is not only the first female discourse in the literature of New England, but also a very important contribution to Transcendentalism through the addition of female subjectivity and insight.
One of Fuller's most remarkable works is thus Woman in the Nineteenth Century, which is at once a transcendentalist and a women's rights manifesto. Combining her enormous erudition with personal insight, Fuller discusses at length both the place of the spirit, the privileged self in the universe, and the place of women in society. As a true female activist, Fuller advocates for the rights of women in society and criticizes their lowly position in her contemporary society, where their lack of freedom put them on a par with slaves. As Annette Kolody observes, Fuller is a true female advocate, who was extremely daring and revolutionary in her thought: "Fuller wrote graphically about women's sexual bondage in marriage, condemned male sexual license, and insisted upon society's moral obligations even to the 'degraded' prostitute, comparing the prostitute's economic exchange of her body with 'the dower of a worldly marriage'." (Kolodny, 302) However, Fuller also goes beyond that, advocating that what women need is not merely the right to a different social status, but also the right to grow intellectually and spiritually, and develop thus into full selves, free and unimpeded: "Were thought and feeling once go far elevated that Man should esteem himself the brother and friend, but nowise the lord and tutor, of Woman,-- were he really bound with her in equal worship,- - arrangements as to function and employment would be of no consequence. What Woman needs is not as a woman to act or rule, but as a nature to grow, as an intellect to discern, as a soul to live freely and unimpeded..."(Fuller, 35) in one of her poetical works, called Winged Sphinx, Fuller describes the nature of the human spirit, such as it was seen by transcendentalists, as an entity far superior to the natural world ("brute nature"): "Through brute nature upward rising, / Seed up-striving to the light, / Revelations still surprising, My inwardness is grown insight. / Still I slight not those first stages, / Dark but God-directed Ages; / in my nature leonine / Labored & learned a Soul divine..."(Fuller, 103) in her view therefore, insight comes from inwardness and self-consciousness. Thus, she advocates also the self-consciousness of women and the importance it has for the growth of human society. As such, Fuller remains one of the first feminist voices in literary history.
Emily Dickinson is arguably a writer of genius with a genuine, extremely personal voice and one of...
Dickinson's poetry is remarkable thus for its original tone and also for the poet's unparalleled and ingenious use of language. Perhaps surpassing most of her contemporaries in her art, Dickinson approaches a great variety of themes in her poetry. If Bradstreet asserted herself through her unusual erudition as a woman for her time and the very incipient feminine subjectivity and Fuller through her outright feminine voice, Dickinson represents, in a way, a step further for the female voice in literature. Her superb poetry is not directly concerned with gender issues, but her unique voice actually establishes a 'feminine poetics'. Her sensibility and subjectivity are clearly feminine attributes, and this is demonstrated throughout her work through many poetic devices. Dickinson's prolific work is hard to define and place in a category, because of its absolute originality. Perhaps the most poignant features are the gasping tone, filled with stops, absences and interruptions. Her orthography and her use of language are perhaps the most important marks of originality in her poems. Another specific quality of her prose is the abstractedness that characterizes it. Dickinson populates her poems with abstract entities which form her society. Thus, the celebrated poet obviously takes feminine consciousness to whole new levels, where the self is well defined in the maze of actual as well as abstract things. Karen Oakes shows thus that Dickinson manages to establish a feminine discourse especially through her use of metonymy through which she always creates a sort of intimacy with the reader: "I argue that Dickinson uses metonymy, and, in particular, the implied or stated 'you,' to seek a culturally feminine (that is, not merely female) discourse which establishes or presumes a process of intimacy with a reader. Her attitude toward this intimacy ranges from anxiety and hostility to hospitality." (Oakes, 189) According to Oakes therefore, the female discourse can be differentiated from that of the males through its tendency to establish a dialogue with the other objects and beings and at the same time with the reader. By contrast, the male discourse is extremely self-contained and exclusive. Dickinson's awareness of the self is so poignant that her poetry becomes extremely preoccupied with the masculine other, which is seen as a direct opposition. Although she does not always refer directly to the male world, all the other veiled references to abstract entities such as God, Master, King, Death, Emperor, Father and so on, obviously hint at the modern opposition between the self and the gendered other. McClure thus concludes that one of the most intriguing features of Dickinson's poetry is the constellation of images that implies masculinity as a fascinating and omnipotent force: "Critics of Dickinson's poetry have often been intrigued by what Joanne Dobson characterizes as a 'particularly intense constellation of images, situations, and statement in her poetry [that] reveals an intriguing preoccupation with masculinity, and, more particularly, with a facet of masculinity that is perceived as simultaneously omnipotent, fascinating, and deadly.'"(McClure, 55) Indeed, some of her most famous poems, such as My Life Had Stood - a Loaded Gun or Because I Could not Stop her Death, associate masculinity with imagery of death.
Thus, the feminine consciousness is defined here through the stark opposition with the male world.
Also, Dickinson hints at her self-consciousness by declaring her incapacity to distance herself from her own art, and create pure, abstract art as tradition would have it. In the poem numbered 642 in her collection, Dickinson betrays her modern, feminine subjectivity that prevents her from writing objective, cold poetry: "Me from Myself -- to banish -- / Had I Art -- / Impregnable my Fortress / Unto All Heart -- / but since Myself -- assault Me -- / How have I peace / Except by subjugating / Consciousness? / and since / We're mutual Monarch / How this be / Except by Abdication -- / Me -- of Me?"(Dickinson, 405) the poignant self-awareness and the opposition with the male other are clear signs of modern subjectivity. Through the themes approached and her poetic expression dwell in Possibility -- / a fairer House than Prose --/More numerous of Windows -- / Superior -- for Doors -- / of Chambers as the Cedars -- / Impregnable of Eye -- / and for an Everlasting Roof / the Gambrels of the Sky -- / of Visitors -- the fairest -- / for Occupation -- This -- / the spreading wide of narrow Hands / to gather Paradise -"(Dickinson)
Dickinson, Emily. Dickinson, Emily. The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson. Boston: Little, Brown, 1924
Fuller, Margaret. The Collected Works of Margaret Fuller. New York: The Modern Library, 1970.
Kolodny, Annette. "Inventing a feminist discourse: rhetoric and resistance in Margaret Fuller's 'Woman in the Nineteenth Century.'." New Literary History 25.n2 (Spring 1994): 355(28).
McClure, Smith. "He Asked if I Was His': The Seductions of Emily Dickinson," in ESQ, Vol. 40, No. 1, 1994,…
Female Artists Who Worked in the American West The subject of female artists working in the American West has often been overlooked due to pervasive Western male stereotypes. These stereotypical images include popular media overlays of cowboys, male hero icons and male activities. Yet, the environment of the American West has been the inspiration for many American female artists. One of these is the landscape photographer, Laura Gilpin. Gilpin's relation to
Sleep is often a poetic euphemism for death; Utanapishtim even says as much when Gilgamesh finally catches up with him... "How alike are the sleeping and the dead..." In any event, Gilgamesh's foreboding deepens as they face the entrance to the forest. Gilgamesh and Enkidu find and confront Humbaba, and Humbaba tries to pursuade Gilgamesh to make friends with it, but Enkidu advises him to kill it, for fearing the
.....female agency in Wang Anyi's "Granny" and Eileen Chang's "Shame Amah" The objective of this study is to compare and contrast the work of Eileen Chang's with reference to her theme "Shame Amah" and the work of Wang Anyi focusing on her theme "Granny". The study uses their works of the two writers to analyze their differences and similarities in the writing styles focusing on the themes Shame of Amah and
T.S. Eliot and Amy Lowell The poetic styles of T.S. Eliot and Amy Lowell are so dissimilar, that it comes as something of a shock to realize how much the two poets had in common. Each came from a prominent Boston family, and was related to a President of Harvard University -- Eliot was a distant relation to Harvard's President Eliot, and attended Harvard as an undergraduate: Amy Lowell's brother would
As Canada has become less wild, many of these obstacles have been recognized by writers to exist internally, as Atwood says: "no longer obstacles to physical survival but obstacles to what we may call spiritual survival, to life as anything more than a minimally human being." Grim survival is that sort of survival which overcomes a specific threat which destroys everything else about one, such as a hurricane or plane
Ross (1988) notes the development of Romanticism in the late eighteenth century and indicates that it was essentially a masculine phenomenon: Romantic poetizing is not just what women cannot do because they are not expected to; it is also what some men do in order to reconfirm their capacity to influence the world in ways socio-historically determined as masculine. The categories of gender, both in their lives and in their