Open Access Thesis
Lesbianism in literature; Hall, Radclyffe. Well of loneliness; Feinberg, Leslie, 1949-2014. Stone butch blues;
Feminist theory has long been concerned with identity politics, and feminists have grappled with the ideologies and identities of race, sex, gender, and sexuality, to name only a few. Psychoanalytic theorist Teresa Brennan and postmodern theorist Judith Butler combine feminism with their respective fields in their quests to figure out how subjectivities are created, and why some people are objectified or created as objects, while others are created as subjects. Literature is an excellent vehicle for studying subject/object creation and identity politics, because it often mirrors “real” life, because literature can have such an impact on the lives of those who read it, and because it can tap emotions and possibilities which theory cannot. Through the portrayals of the lesbian (and transgender, in the case of Stone Butch Blues'), protagonists’ lives, the ways in which they are othered by people occupying subject positions, and the ways in which they resist that othering, Radclyffe Hall’s The Well of Loneliness and Leslie Feinberg’s Stone Butch Blues provide numerous examples of the workings of subject and object creation. They also illuminate possibilities which the theories cannot quite grasp, such as how to live a life which promotes the erasure of dichotomous thinking and living. The novels and theories are also excellent tools with which to explore facets of identity such as lesbian, butch, femme, and transgender, in an attempt to show that it is possible to expose the fiction of individual identity in order to dismantle our current oppressive systems of living and create a liberating, rather than an oppressive, world.
Year of Submission
Master of Arts
Department of Philosophy and Religion
Susan E. Hill, Chair, Thesis Committee
1 PDF file (v, 91 pages)
©1997 Laura Ellen Goetz
Goetz, Laura Ellen, "Drowning in loneliness and writing the blues: Creating lesbian space in the novels of Radclyffe Hall and Leslie Feinberg" (1997). Dissertations and Theses @ UNI. 784.