“She sat at the window”: Women’s portrait in Joyce’s (1914) and Chopin’s (1894) short stories

Davi Gonçalves, Lenise Mendes

Resumo


In this research we analyse the construction of the female identity in the short story “Eveline”, written by James Joyce in 1914, and “The Story of an Hour”, written by Kate Chopin in 1894. Also, we identify if and, if so, how the male characters present in both narratives influence the attitudes of their protagonists, Eveline and Louise, as well as what they might mean for the construction of both tales. Our main theoretical framework is that of gender studies, inasmuch as women’s role in literature has usually been defined by men who are marked by a tendency of reproducing patriarchal and male chauvinist patterns and objectifying female identity. Feminist literary criticism, thus, gives room for women to be seen in literature, as well as it gives a place of speech for women to fight against these consolidated patterns of phalocentrism. Our findings demonstrate how Joyce’s “Eveline” (1914) and Chopin’s “The story of an hour” (1894), although written over one hundred years ago, have still much to say concerning the patterns of women representation in a patriarchal society. Our hope, with this article, is to raise awareness for the relevance of gender studies as an analytical lens at a moment when the urgency of changing women’s role in society seems to have become unquestionable.

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BABEL: Revista Eletrônica de Línguas e Literaturas Estrangeiras - ISSN 2238-5754 | Departamento de Educação DEDC II - Universidade do Estado da Bahia