Date of Award

6-12-2006

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

English

First Advisor

Dr. Marilynn Richtarik - Chair

Second Advisor

Dr. Calvin Thomas

Third Advisor

Dr. Margaret Mills Harper

Abstract

I investigate the ghosts in Elizabeth Bowen’s short stories, “Green Holly” and “The Happy Autumn Fields.” By blending psychoanalytic feminism and social feminism, I argue that these female ghosts are the incommensurable feminine—a feminine that exceeds the bounds of phallocentric logic and cannot be defined by her social or symbolic manifestations. An analysis of Bowen’s ghosts as actual ghosts is uncharted territory. Previous Bowen critics postulate that Bowen’s ghosts are imaginary figments or metaphors. These critics make Bowen’s stories “truthful” representations of the world, but, as such, Bowen’s ghosts become representations of the world’s phallocentric order. In contrast, I argue that these stories adopt a mestiza consciousness. Gloria Anzaldùa postulates that through a subaltern perspective developed outside of western logic, the mestiza reclaims the supernatural that exists outside of the masculine, symbolic order. The female ghosts are the feminine that Luce Irigaray explains, “remain[s] elsewhere” (76) as they live incommensurably in an alternate supernatural realm, disrupting phallic logic.

Share

COinS