Herstory: Feminizing Historical Narratives in Carol Ann Duffy’s the World’s Wife
Mary Louisa Lum (PhD)

Feminists constantly explore the lack of feminine representation in canonical works which underscores the truth that history has also aided in silencing the gender. Women writers seek to write their experiences as women in order to undermine limiting and unflattering masculine portrayals that have come to define femininity. This is writing the self which derives from Simone de Beauvoir‟s views on sexuality, and gender relations. Some authors utilise revisionism to bring feminine perspectives to compliment the male centric narratives. Carol Ann Duffy‟s The World’s Wife, artistically explores the opinions of the wives of several legendary characters silenced by history. Through this medium, Duffy gives voice to women, feminizing history- thus her story. Critics like Lanone (2008) and Rees-Jones (2001), opine that voicing neglected the feminine, is an innovation that distinguishes Duffy from other authors. Feminist theory is an appropriate tool of analysis, since its concepts explore gender binaries that result in silencing feminine viewpoints. Duffy‟s feminine representation of the history of legendary figures gives a realistic picture of the true nature of heroes. The ideas of Helene Cixous (1976), Luce Irigaray (1985) and Julia Kristeva (1982) regarding feminine writing, sexuality and gender relations will enhance the analysis.

Full Text: PDF      DOI: 10.15640/ijll.v7n1a3