Patriarchal voices and female authority in Katherine Anne Porter's Miranda stories
AuthorPunzel, Andreas, 1955-
AdvisorDryden, Edgar A.
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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.
AbstractThis study offers a feminist reading of Katherine Anne Porter's Miranda stories and includes in its discussion "Old Morality," "Pale Horse, Pale Rider," and the stories of The Old Order as well as the "implicit" Miranda stories "Flowering Judas" and "Holiday." Focusing on questions of gender politics, the study traces the ways the representatives of patriarchal culture within Porter's texts attempt to circumscribe Miranda in traditional gender roles and examines the extent to which Miranda succeeds in asserting her independence. Central to the analysis is the argument that gender politics do not rely on methods of subjection and repression but instead employ strategies of subversion to effect Miranda's self-subjugation to and self-containment within the social order. The theoretical basis for this argument lies in the discourse theory of Mikhail Bakhtin and Michel Foucault's concept of power. Following Miranda's life chronologically, the study explores its main stages: her upbringing in the confining context of the family, which attempts to insert her into the prevailing sexual economy and traditional gender roles; her flight into the world and into a life of social and intellectual independence but also sexual self-abnegation; her escape from language into silence as a result of her marginalization; and her subsequent return to the world as a more assertive woman.
Degree ProgramGraduate College