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Post-feminist fatherhood and the marginalization of the mother in Cormac McCarthy's the road
Umeå universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Institutionen för språkstudier.ORCID-id: 0000-0001-7243-0059
2018 (Engelska)Ingår i: Women - A Cultural Review, ISSN 0957-4042, E-ISSN 1470-1367, Vol. 29, nr 1, s. 112-128Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat) 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.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
Abingdon: Routledge, 2018. Vol. 29, nr 1, s. 112-128
Nyckelord [en]
Cormac McCarthy, dystopian fiction, fatherhood, motherhood, post-feminism
Nationell ämneskategori
Kulturstudier Litteraturstudier Litteraturvetenskap
Forskningsämne
litteraturvetenskap; genusvetenskap
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-146132DOI: 10.1080/09574042.2018.1425539ISI: 000428842900007OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-146132DiVA, id: diva2:1194431
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Tillgänglig från: 2018-04-03 Skapad: 2018-04-03 Senast uppdaterad: 2020-03-30Bibliografiskt granskad

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Åström, Berit

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