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dc.contributor.authorGerber, Claire
dc.date.accessioned2015-06-01T19:01:53Z
dc.date.available2015-06-01T19:01:53Z
dc.date.issued2012-12-12
dc.identifier.urihttp://digital.library.wisc.edu/1793/72526
dc.description.abstractDawn Powell, a little-known American writer, has recently experienced a small revival, but the existing body of criticism lacks true substance and scholarship. Her works need to be reexamined, and this paper seeks to do so through the lens of gender and identity. The heroines in Dawn Powell's novels, "Turn, Magic Wheel" and "A Time to be Born", construct their identities performatively in order to gain agency and maneuverability in the male-dominated society in which they live. Gender is a performance according to sociologists, West and Zimmerman, and literary theorist, Judith Butler, and the performances the heroines enact resist the gender-related constraints society places on women. Dawn Powell and her characters are also products of the Village, which was steeped in revolution, feminism, bohemianism, and identity construction. Even though Powell distances herself from the feminist movement, feminist issues surface in the constructions of her female characters and in her own life in regard to the rejection of traditional roles for women, economic independence, and sexual freedom. Effie Callingham, the primary heroine, in "Turn, Magic Wheel", undergoes a series of performances, seen over a period of roughly twenty years, and fends off the hegemonic efforts of the men in her life, namely Dennis Orphen and Andrew Callingham. Amanda Keeler Evans, in "A Time to Be Born", sculpts herself as the figure she wishes to be, which is a talented writer and public figure. She uses feminine wiles and manipulation to get ahead, but she does so consciously and with the understanding of the limited nature of the tools her disposal. Finally, Vicky Haven, also in "A Time to Be Born", turns the Cinderella tale on its head by consciously constructing herself with her own needs in consideration rather than being a passive recipient and used by others.en
dc.subjectPowell, Dawn -- Criticism and interpretationen
dc.subjectPowell, Dawn. Turn, magic wheelen
dc.subjectPowell, Dawn. Time to be bornen
dc.subjectPowell, Dawn -- Characters -- Womenen
dc.subjectGender identity in literatureen
dc.subjectHeroines in literatureen
dc.titleDawn Powell's Heroines: Identity Construction and Performance in "Turn, Magic Wheel" and "A Time to Be Born"en
dc.typeThesisen


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