Envisioning the New Adam: Empathic Portraits of Men by American Women Writers

By Patricia Ellen Martin Daly | Go to book overview

INTRODUCTION

Some years ago, while reading yet another explanation of "The Eternal Female" by a man, I began to wonder: Have women ever tried to define men throughout history? Curious, I began leafing through books by women that might have something to say about men. I soon found that the answer was yes. Women, especially American women, had plenty to say about men. But in contrast to mate pronouncements on women, women's statements on men (prior to the last few decades) have tended to be quieter, more musing, more speculative -- and quite penetrating. Conveyed for the most part through the prisms of literature and art, rather than the window grilles of philosophy and psychology, these female perceptions of the male as a corpus of work have been largely overlooked. Particularly neglected in literary anthologies and criticism are American women writers' perceptions over the past century of men's virtues, dilemmas, and paths to happiness. Equally neglected are the contributions of American women writers to a central myth of American culture, the Adamic myth of America as the New World Garden of Eden. Such neglect has prompted this collection.

Do American women writers value and sympathize with anything in men as traditionally gendered? As I began this study not only in the early years of the second wave of American feminism, but also as the brunt, personally, of much awful treatment by men, I thought the answer to that question was simple: very little. I was surprised. Operating within the theoretical framework of feminist theory and readers' response literary criticism, I closely examined over 275 stories, poems, and novels by women featuring men. I found that there was a significant line of male protagonists with whom their female creators seemed to empathize.

Perhaps they were created as imaginary models of what men would need to do to deserve a woman's admiration and/or compassion. Perhaps they were patterned after some real-life father, brother, lover, or friend whose virtues the patterner wished to hold up for emulation and whose dilemmas she wished to plumb more fully. Some -- particularly those who become trapped in their dilemmas -- may

-1-

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
Envisioning the New Adam: Empathic Portraits of Men by American Women Writers
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
/ 137

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.