In a feminine aesthetic. According to Simone De

In
the late 1960s and 1970s – Second-wave Feminist criticism in the West had two
main aims. The first was to analyze literature as vehicle for reproducing and
contesting patriarchal images of women in fictional texts. The second was to
identify and analyze the specificity of women’s writing. It set out to recover
the lost history of women’s writing and to identify both a difference of view
in women’s writing and a feminine aesthetic.

According to Simone De Beauvoir Woman is
“defined and differentiated with reference to man and not him with reference to
her”. Man discursively constructs woman as his binary opposite. Where she is
the “incidental, the inessential as opposed to the essential”, he is
the “Subject, he is the Absolute–she is the other”. Man’s anatomy does
not impinge in the same way upon his conception of his own subjectivity: he
“thinks of his body as a direct and normal connection with the world,
which he believes he apprehends objectively, whereas he regards the body of
woman as a hindrance, a prison, weighed down by everything peculiar to
it.” A woman needs a man, a father, brother, husband, son to make her
presence felt in society. Her identity is dependent on the man who commands her
life. The patriarchal setup both defines a woman and suppresses her. It is the
male hegemonic order that decides what identity she dones.

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In Burger’s Daughter (1974), Nadine Gordimer uses the
backdrop of imperially controlled South Africa to focus on the protagonist’s
assertion of an identity independent of her father’s role. Gordimer explores
Rosa’s struggle to feel the constraints placed upon her as a woman living in patriarchal
and colonized country. As Simone de Beauvoir in
“The Second Sex” states that women are positioned as the other in
relation to the concept of self which has been colonized by patriarchy. Rosa
becomes the symbol of the stifling effects of colonization in a country, and
Gordimer draws a parallel between colonization and patriarchy. In this novel Gordimer
portrays the white African woman who belongs to colonial society and yet is
alienated because of her identity as she is a “woman”. Her place in African
society is no way different from that of the black Negro and she too feels ostracize
from the civilized white society.

 

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