Gender bias and resistance in Edna O’Brien’s “country girls' trilogy”

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Abstract

This paper explores the gender bias and resistance in Edna O'Brien's “Country Girls' Trilogy”. Writing fictional narratives that are set against mid-20th-century Irish patriarchal culture, O'Brien shows how her protagonist Caithleen both conforms to and rebels against the yoke imposed on modern Irish women. By discussing the different roles played by males and females in traditional Irish society, I investigate the ways in which Caithleen is ensnared within the intricate webs of patriarchal power relations from family, religion, and society and how the protagonist manages to unsettle the time-honored patriarchy peculiar to Irish society. Introduction and conclusion aside, this paper falls into four parts. Part one sets O'Brien's female characters against the tradition of modern Irish women. Part two examines the intimidating father image by discussing a range of father figures in O'Brien's trilogy. In part three, the connection between Irish women and the Catholic religion is illustrated. Part four further explains how O'Brien's female characters suffer amid the patriarchal culture and how they endeavor to find their way out of patriarchy. Copyright © 2014 台灣政治大學英國語文學系.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-62
Journal文山評論:文學與文化The Wenshan Review of Literature and Culture
Volume8
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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Citation

Chang, T.-C. (2014). Gender bias and resistance in Edna O’Brien’s “country girls' trilogy”. The Wenshan Review of Literature and Culture, 8(1), 29-62.

Keywords

  • Edna O’Brien
  • Country Girls’ Trilogy
  • Gender bias and resistance
  • Alt. title: 歐布萊恩《鄉村女孩三部曲》中的性別偏見與抵抗