Toward a Feminist Poetics. Elaine Showalter. In , Leon Edel, the distinguished biographer of Henry James, contributed to a London symposium of essays. Towards A Feminist poetics by Elaine Showalter with detailed study notes and examines Gynocritics, Feminism, Problems of feminist Critique. Elaine Showalter’s feminist criticism is a clearly articulated feminist literary theory. Showalter has proposed a separate and independent model of feminist literary.

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The feminist critique as a sort of feminist criticism envisions the women as the readers of those male produced texts. The feminists thus, try to trace out the images and stereotype of the women exposed in the male texts.

This is also called traditional feminist criticism where women are the consumers of the production in literary writing. This is in true sense the female model of writing being elainne of male values and norms. In this way, gynocritics eschews deliberately avoid the inevitability of male models and theories and seeks a purely female model.


She takes her departure from the assumption by saying that women are different in terms of nature, race, culture and nation.

Elaine Showalter – Wikipedia

Thus they can not be universally studied. She claims that like the male writers, female writers too have their own tradition. To make the literature of women different and special, there is a need of the reconstruction of its past and rediscovery of the scores of women writers.

As a result, she has reconstructed the past of literary history of women by dividing the three stages of woman writers. They identified themselves with the male culture as women were not allowed to write.

ELAINE SHOWALTER -Towards A Feminist poetics – UGC NET English

Some of them even wrote in male pseudonyms. Their works dealt with social and domestic background.

They however exhibited a kind of sense of guilt in their writing. They accepted certain limitation in their writings. The women writers of this phase protested against the male canons and values. It is the period of separatist utopia.


Toward a Feminist Poetics by Elaine Showalter

They rejected any text that stereotyped the women. They developed a personal sense of injustice and wrote biases of male.

The writers of this phase avoid both the imitation of the feminine writers and the protest of feminost feminist writers and the protest of the feminist writers. They purely develop the idea of female writing and female experience. They differentiate female writing and male writing in terms of language. Their effort to identify and analyze the female experience leads them to this phase of self discovery.