umu.sePublications
Change search
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
Post-feminist fatherhood and the marginalization of the mother in Cormac McCarthy's the road
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of language studies.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7243-0059
2018 (English)In: Women - A Cultural Review, ISSN 0957-4042, E-ISSN 1470-1367, Vol. 29, no 1, p. 112-128Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Critics have tended to dismiss feminist analyses of Cormac McCarthy's works as misguided, labelling investigations of potential narrative misogyny in his novels as irrelevant. In this article, the author argues that such investigations are, on the contrary, highly relevant in the current climate of mother-blaming. The author specifically explains how McCarthy’s 2006 dystopian novel The Road uses post-feminist fatherhood to valorize the father and vilify the mother, thus participating in a continuing cultural trend of privileging fathers over mothers. The Road invokes traditional cultural expectations of motherhood and fatherhood, presenting the mother as unable and unwilling to care for the boy, in stark contrast to the very competent and able father. Many literary analyses of this highly acclaimed novel have unquestioningly accepted the post-feminist marginalization of the mother, and critics have elaborated on and developed the mother-blaming in the novel in a move that the author terms ‘critical co-writing’. Critical co-writing occurs when critics ally themselves with an author, rather than retaining a critical distance, and represent the author's ideas without problematizing them. In the case of The Road, many critics build on post-feminist cues in the novel, adding their own, unreflected, understandings of motherhood and fatherhood. In so doing, they reinterpret and rewrite the novel into an even more forceful presentation of flawed mothering. In a critical discussion of these readings, the author demonstrates how these critics transform the novel's implicit criticism of the mother character into explicit condemnation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Abingdon: Routledge, 2018. Vol. 29, no 1, p. 112-128
Keywords [en]
Cormac McCarthy, dystopian fiction, fatherhood, motherhood, post-feminism
National Category
Cultural Studies Specific Literatures General Literature Studies
Research subject
Literature; genusvetenskap
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-146132DOI: 10.1080/09574042.2018.1425539ISI: 000428842900007OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-146132DiVA, id: diva2:1194431
Note

Special issue

Available from: 2018-04-03 Created: 2018-04-03 Last updated: 2018-06-09Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text in DiVA

Other links

Publisher's full text

Authority records BETA

Åström, Berit

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Åström, Berit
By organisation
Department of language studies
In the same journal
Women - A Cultural Review
Cultural StudiesSpecific LiteraturesGeneral Literature Studies

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar

doi
urn-nbn

Altmetric score

doi
urn-nbn
Total: 55 hits
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf