Fay Weldon: An Equal Opportunity Feminist Essay

Fay Weldon: An Equal Opportunity Feminist Essay

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Fay Weldon, born Franklin Birkinshaw, started out life in a state of ambivalence. She “took out library books as Franklin and read them as Fay” (Weldon). “What I do have to do is be faithful to what I see around me, whether I like it or not. My role is to look at the world, get a true, not an idealized vision of it and hand it over to you in fictional form” (Fay Weldon). This is how Fay Weldon defines her writing. Although the role of women in society has vastly changed in the last fifty years, there is still a great divide amongst the sexes. It is Weldon’s fresh and sophisticated style of writing, alongside her feministic views, that make her novels spectacular.
Weldon writes with a wicked sense of humor and, often times, outrageous plots. Her point of view and narrative style are a unique mix of exaggeration and realism. “Weldon’s interest in the experience of women, her perceptions about their sexuality and friendship, her intelligent view that women’s lives are of necessity different from men's make her a most valuable contemporary novelist for the committed feminist and for the general reader who is curious about women. But Weldon’s novels are appealing even if one does not share her feminist insights” (Krouse).

Weldon takes an objective approach to relationships, but she is not necessarily always on the women’s side. “[...] Weldon does not heavy-handedly use her female characters to hammer out a simplistic thesis about nasty men and victimized women. Through point of view and tone, her vision of women's relationships with men is more satisfyingly complex” (Krouse). In Weldon’s novels, women are not infallible, they make mistakes and are often times found to be at fault. Weldon often portrays the man as the open-minded, res...


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...on's Novels." Critique 20.2 (1978): 5. Academic Search Complete. Web. 14 Apr. 2014.
Massie, Allan. The Novel Today: A Critical Guide to the British Novel, 1970-1989. London: Longman in Association with the British Council, 1990. Print.
Pentney, Beth. "A Comic Turn, Turned Serious": Humour, Body Modification, And The Natural In Fay Weldon's The Life And Loves Of A She Devil." Amsterdamer Beiträge Zur Neueren Germanistik 70.1 (2009): 81-91. Academic Search Complete. Web. 15 Apr. 2014.
Weldon, Fay. Auto Da Fay: A Memoir. New York: First Grove, 2002. Print.
Weldon, Fay. The Life and Loves of a 'she-devil' New York, NY: Pantheon, 1984. Print.
Wilde, Alan. "Bold, but Not Too Bold: Fay Weldon and the Limits of Poststructuralist Criticism“. Contemporary Literature, Vol. 29, No. 3, Contemporary Literature and Contemporary Theory. (Autumn, 1988), 403-419. Web. 13 Apr. 2014.

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