FEMINIST CRITICISM AS ROLE ANALYSIS FOR THE INTERPRETER: WOMEN IN LILLIAN HELLMAN'S MAJOR PLAYS.
AuthorSHAVER, SARA HURDIS.
KeywordsWomen in literature.
Lillian Hellman, 1906- -- Characters -- Women.
Lillian Hellman, 1906- -- Criticism and interpretation.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractMany types of literary criticism have been used successfully in the analysis of literature for oral interpretation. Feminist criticism looks at literature from a female perspective and explores the effects of society's beliefs about the nature, place, and function of women as revealed in literary plots and characters. The hypothesis of this dissertation is that feminist criticism will prove to be of value for interpreters in the analysis stage of preparation. An original method of analysis, based on the tenets of feminist criticism, was developed by this author and applied to women in the four major plays of Lillian Hellman. The methodology focusses on character analysis, featuring inquiry into the character's role, values, self image, finances, attitudes toward sex, and measure of power. To judge the value of the methodology, critics' opinions of the women were surveyed and compared. This comparison revealed the method's power to generate fresh, innovative insights into the characters and to disclose new interpretations of the plays themselves. The method focussed attention onto the societal forces of sexual conditioning which restrict women and cause them to adopt stereotypical roles and patterns of behavior. The study concluded that feminist analysis is a viable critical approach for interpreters and that the methodology of this dissertation, being defined, consistent, and reliable, was capable of producing valuable and useful results.
Degree ProgramSpeech Communication