Encyclopedia of Feminist Literature

By Kathy J. Whitson | Go to book overview
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that such arguments are not always well received, even by women. After all, when hysterics hear that their symptoms might not be under their control, that they are the result of social oppression, the likelihood of an immediate “cure” slips out of reach. Or, as Dianne Hunter phrases it, “so long as our social institutions are dominated by the idea that men are sturdy pillars of rationality and control, while women are idealized as loving mothers without the aggression, desire, or talent required for other achievements, hysteria will exist to give that idea the lie” (203). And feminist scholars, in the meantime, will continue to work at undermining the explanations for Freudian hysteria.

References and Suggested Readings
Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. “The Yellow Wallpaper.” The Heath Introduction to Literature. Ed. Alice S. Landy. Lexington, MA: D.C. Heath, 1996. 121-33.
Hunter, Dianne. “Hysteria.” Encyclopedia of Feminist Literary Theory. Ed. Elizabeth Kowaleski-Wallace. New York: Garland, 1997. 202-4.
Showalter, Elaine. Hystories. New York: Columbia University Press, 1997.
———. A Literature of Their Own: British Women Novelists from Brontë to Lessing. 2nd ed. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1977.

See also Brontë, Charlotte; Gilman, Charlotte Perkins.

Lisa R. Williams


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