Kathleen Wall traces the myth through fifteen works of English, American, and Canadian literature, providing a fresh, feminist reading of these narratives. Among the works analysed are selections by Margaret Atwood, Charlotte Bronte, Thomas Hardy, and George Elliot. The resulting text reveals many facets of the realities of women's experience from the Middle Ages to the twentieth century. And ultimately, Wall shows rape to be an expression of dominance rather than lust, giving increased support to the definition suggested by feminists. Wall demonstrates that the Callisto myth is a powerful archetype which illustrates both the victimization of women and their search for independence and autonomy, an archetype that should not be ignored by modern women.
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