Plotting Motherhood in Medieval, Early Modern, and Modern Literature 1st ed. 2017 Edition

Ebook Details


Mary Beth Rose

Year 2017
Pages 192
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Language en
ISBN 9783319404530
File Size 2.22 MB
File Format PDF
Download Counter 71
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Ebook Description

This book explores the inconsistent literary representations of motherhood in diverse texts ranging from the fourth to the twentieth centuries. Mary Beth Rose unearths plots startling in their frequency and redundancy that struggle to accommodate ―or to obliterate―the complex assertions of maternal authority as it challenges traditional family and social structures. The analysis engages two mother plots: the dead mother plot, in which the mother is dying or dead; and the living mother plot, in which the mother is alive and through her very presence in the text, puts often unbearable pressure on the mechanics of the plot.  These plots reappear and are transformed by authors as diverse in chronology and use of literary form as Augustine, Shakespeare, Milton, Oscar Wilde, and Tony Kushner. The book argues that, insofar as women become the second sex, it is not because they are females per se but because they are mothers; at the same time the analysis probes the transformative political and social potential of motherhood as it appears in contemporary texts like Angels in America.