By Christy Rishoi
From woman to lady examines the coming-of-age narratives of a various staff of yankee girls writers, together with Annie Dillard, Zora Neale Hurston, Maxine Hong Kingston, and Mary McCarthy, and explores the an important function of such narratives within the improvement of yankee feminism. ladies have lengthy identified that id is advanced and contradictory, yet within the 20th century their coming-of-age narratives ultimately voice this data. Addressing a number of themes—awakening sexuality, the body’s metamorphosis in puberty, cognizance of distinction from men, and the socialization into female gender roles—these narratives reject the heroine’s narrative finishing in romance, permitting American ladies writers to create substitute subjectivities via rejecting the idea that id is ever mounted. whereas activists have succeeded in successful felony battles that experience replaced the felony prestige of girls, those narratives practice the cultural paintings of disclosing the painful contradictions confronted by way of ladies as they arrive of age.
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Extra info for From Girl to Woman: American Women’s Coming-of-Age Narratives
Karl Marx was trained as a Hegelian philosopher, but he eventually rejected Hegel’s metaphysical dualism, arguing instead that humans are merely one biological species among others, and it is the need to satisfy biological requirements that defines human nature rather than the capacity for rationality (German 150). In Marx’s view, Hegel’s error was in seeing consciousness as produced by thought, whereas Marx argued that external circumstances were unavoidably constitutive of the real. According to Marx, human nature is determined Feminism, Autobiography, and Theories of Subjectivity 39 by social relations, and most particularly by an individual’s position in the prevailing mode of production: thus, “[i]t is not the consciousness of men that determines their being but, on the contrary, their social being that determines their consciousness” (Contribution 4).
The process of understanding the difference between ‘I’ and ‘not-I’ involves imagining one’s relationship to the world, and in order to do that, the child must enter into language, or the symbolic realm. In this sense, the child’s (and subject’s) unconscious is not an interior phenomenon but the result of social relations. It is difficult for the subject to access the unconscious because it permeates our being; never Feminism, Autobiography, and Theories of Subjectivity 41 fixed, language—and therefore subjectivity—for Lacan is a process of desire set in motion by difference.
Further, ideology’s main function, for Althusser, is to construct people as subjects: [T]he category of the subject is constitutive of all ideology, but at the same time and immediately I shall add that the category of the subject is only constitutive of all ideology in so far as all ideology has the function (which defines it) of constituting concrete individuals as subjects (“Ideology” 171). 40 From Girl to Woman The importance of the assertion that the subject is constitutive of ideology is in its suggestion to subjects that they are autonomous individuals who enjoy complete freedom to decide who and what they are and will do at any given time.
From Girl to Woman: American Women’s Coming-of-Age Narratives by Christy Rishoi