The Art and Genius of Anne Hébert: Essays on Her Works : Night and the Day Are One

By Janis L. Pallister | Go to book overview

The Female Liminal Place, or Survival Between
the Rock and the Hard Place: A Reading
of Anne Hébert's L'Ile de la Demoiselle

WANGARI WA NYATETU-WAIGWA

To quote Elizabeth Wilson, "The journey is an archetypal symbol… most often a journey-as-initiation—to self-knowledge and/or integration into a community" (1990, 45). In the quest motif, the middle phase (that is, the period between departure and return) for the male hero often consists in brave exploits facilitated by freedom from social structure and power hierarchy. The male hero's quest involves self-testing through conquest of physical space. The bildungsroman and epic both represent one form or another of the quest, and, universally, the protagonist of these two genres moves from innocence to knowledge, from a given status in the social order to a different one reflecting the knowledge and wisdom gained in the interim.

Parallel to the quest depicted in the bildungsroman or the epic, the traditional rite of passage also involves movement from one status to another. The middle, liminal phase of the rite of passage (the stage between separation from the community and eventual reincorporation) constitutes an inner journey parallel to the physical one in the two literary genres, and supplies the space needed for the initiate to acquire the knowledge and psychological growth necessary for admission to a social status different from that occupied before. In the rite of passage, however, the liminal place often differs from the realm of the epic hero's exploits in its closed, hemmedin, restricted nature. Besides, in spite of its ostensible freedom from social structure, liminality is nonetheless a function of social structure, in that the knowledge to be gained during that period and the mentor(s) to impart it are respectively dictated and designated by the community in question. For these and other reasons, the characteristics of liminality provide a useful tool for analyzing the journey (physical or psychological) of literary female protagonists or heroines, since this journey often differs both in form and outcome from the quests of their male counterparts.

-187-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Art and Genius of Anne Hébert: Essays on Her Works : Night and the Day Are One
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 400

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.