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Feminist Literary Criticism

Feminism Definition

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Feminist Literary Crticism
Also known as:
Feminist Criticism

Feminist literary criticism is literary analysis that arises from the viewpoint of feminism, feminist theory and/or feminist politics. Basic methods of feminist literary criticism include:

  • Identifying with female characters: This is a way to challenge the male-centered outlook of authors. Feminist literary criticism suggests that women in literature were historically presented as objects seen from a male perspective.
  • Reevaluating literature and the world in which literature is read: This involves questioning whether society has predominantly valued male authors and their literary works because it has valued males more than females.

A feminist literary critic resists traditional assumptions while reading. In addition to challenging assumptions which were thought to be universal, feminist literary criticism actively supports including women's knowledge in literature and valuing women's experiences.

Women through the ages have written feminist theory and various forms of feminist critique. During the period of second-wave feminism, the loftiest academic circles increasingly challenged the male literary canon. Feminist literary critcism has since intertwined with postmodernism and increasingly complex questions of gender and societal roles.

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