Subjugation and emancipation in the fiction of Lisa Alther. White, Gwendolyn en_US
dc.contributor.department English en_US 2014-06-20T17:55:52Z 2014-06-20T17:55:52Z 1985 en_US
dc.description.abstract Lisa Alther writes of the individual's search for personal identity. Although people tend to seek fulfillment through The Other (person, group, ideology), Alther concludes that definition must ultimately come from within. Only The Self, then, and not The Other, can provide any satisfying and long-lasting answers. en_US
dc.description.abstract In Kinflicks, Alther concentrates on one woman's search for positive, internal definition. Ginny Babcock attempts to define herself as a flag-swinger, motorcycle moll, student, lesbian, political activist, wife, and mother. She seeks fulfillment in The Other through the externals of: changing clothes/changing identities, sexual encounters, subjugation into relationshps, and her preoccupation with death. Ginny is ultimately able to free herself from the stifling identification with The Other, painfully learning that The Other can never function as a replacement for The Self. en_US
dc.description.abstract Alther's second novel, Original Sins, deals with the searches of five young men and women (Jed, Sally, Raymond, Donny, and Emily) who struggle separately and together to grow, to change, and to find some meaning for their existence. Many times their searches are thwarted by externals (The Other) as some of the characters come closer to internal definition than do others. Alther chronicles their lives through love and sex, marriage and infidelity, passion and ambition, politics and social history, feminism and counter-cultures, racial animosity and protest, and isolation and death. en_US
dc.description.abstract Finally, in Other Women, Alther focuses on two women (Hannah and Caroline) and their separate struggles--brought together by therapy and moved forward toward positive and self-defining ends. Hannah has already worked through that seemingly lifelong search in a positive and successful way, and after the therapy, Caroline is well on the way to personal fulfillment. en_US
dc.description.abstract For all of Alther's characters, a positiveness exists in the possibility of choices. Although background, gender, and social status may make the way more difficult, the ultimate choice belongs to the individual--if he or she can manage to find personal identity. Alther leaves us with choices, and her lesson is simple, yet extremely painful: The Self is the ultimate and final answer. en_US D.A. en_US
dc.publisher Middle Tennessee State University en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Alther, Lisa, 1944- en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Literature, American en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Women's Studies en_US
dc.thesis.degreegrantor Middle Tennessee State University en_US
dc.thesis.degreelevel Doctoral en_US
dc.title Subjugation and emancipation in the fiction of Lisa Alther. en_US
dc.type Dissertation en_US
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