Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

 

Writing (righting) the silences : "points of perspective" for texts and students Public Deposited

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  • The classroom practices discussed in this thesis come slowly and at a "slant" to feminism through critical reading of texts, a practice that I call a (re)presentation of the silent women in texts. Given our patriarchal western culture, making meaning, and especially making sense, of the role and representations of females offers a special challenge. Often, we readers discover that women are represented by "silence" or rendered according to the patriarchal value system, with little or no thought given to their actual cultural roles. My analysis and construction of a "point of perspective" for the silent or silenced females in male-authored canonical texts offers students a way to enrich their experience with a text and to enrich their abilities as critical readers. Creating a fiction with the intent of having it appear transparently neutral may have been a common motive for both Geoffrey Chaucer and J.M. Coetzee as they created their silent women with their use of what Wayne Booth refers to as a distant narrator-agent. By distancing themselves as authors from their tales, Chaucer and Coetzee create the appearance that they are merely recording the words of others, but both authors make representations and speak for females. Kenneth Burke's dramatistic approach to rhetorical analysis, including the analysis of literary discourse, anticipates the much later critical stance that writing never emerges completely unscathed by authorial motive and purpose.
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