In his 1947 book The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Joseph Campbell argues that there is a "monomyth," a single story told across time and across cultures, that represents the hero's quest to achieve mature adulthood. Many writers have since proposed corresponding models for heroines. However, these alternative models are for the most part either derivative of Campbell's work, or based on counseling work with women clients instead of on stories. The models based on Campbell's heroic quest pattern often involve strenuous efforts to make the stages of the heroine's journey equivalent to those of the heroic quest. Moreover, these efforts are limited by Campbell's male-oriented terminology and thinking, omitting all those aspects of the female journey that are wholly different. Models based on the psychological journeys of real women are limited by the times and culture of the women surveyed (usually mid- to late 20th century American women).
Other writers have examined stories to find a distinct female voice or identify concerns particular to women. This effort has engendered an enduring debate over whether or not women writers do have an identifiable, different voice. If they do, is this distinct voice proof that women are essentially different from men or evidence only that women have been forced into the position of "other" by society?
This dissertation employs the hermeneutic method of epistrophe as delineated by James Hillman to return to the image and let it speak for itself. It first identifies and then examines the motifs that recur again and again in fictional works featuring a female heroine, written by Western female authors from the 1300s through the present, to identify the elements of the heroine's story as women see it. Biographies of famous women are also surveyed. Interpretations of the motifs from many viewpoints are included, without privileging one over another. This work finds that the heroine's story as told by women often follows a pattern that differs in most respects from Campbell's heroic quest model. This pattern may represent a positive re-imagining by women of women's lives.
Keywords: heroine, heroine's journey, women, narrative, fiction, archetypes.
|Commitee:||Downing, Christine, Pratt, Annis|
|School:||Pacifica Graduate Institute|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-A 74/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Comparative literature, Folklore, Womens studies|
|Keywords:||Aletis, Heroic quests, Heroine's journey, Heroines, Narratives, Women's literature|
Copyright in each Dissertation and Thesis is retained by the author. All Rights Reserved
The supplemental file or files you are about to download were provided to ProQuest by the author as part of a
dissertation or thesis. The supplemental files are provided "AS IS" without warranty. ProQuest is not responsible for the
content, format or impact on the supplemental file(s) on our system. in some cases, the file type may be unknown or
may be a .exe file. We recommend caution as you open such files.
Copyright of the original materials contained in the supplemental file is retained by the author and your access to the
supplemental files is subject to the ProQuest Terms and Conditions of use.
Depending on the size of the file(s) you are downloading, the system may take some time to download them. Please be