Date of Award

Summer 8-18-2010

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

English

First Advisor

Dr. Samuel

Second Advisor

Dr. Gabler-Hover

Third Advisor

Dr. West

Abstract

Alice Walker’s The Color Purple and Kate Chopin’s The Awakening fundamentally share the universal feminist yearning for personal freedom and independence within an oppressive, patriarchal society. With regards to the texts’ stylistic differences and disparate social contexts, their heroines seek to ideologically oppose social rules and conventions for women without achieving the same results. This difference lies in the fact that Chopin’s text fosters the traditional feminism embraced by the majority culture, while Walker’s text makes use of womanism. The availability and authenticity of feminine space for the generation of women’s culture also determine the extent of changes achieved.

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