A Women's Quest in The Odyssey, A Room Of One's Own, and Northanger Abbey

A Women's Quest in The Odyssey, A Room Of One's Own, and Northanger Abbey

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A Women's Quest in The Odyssey, A Room Of One's Own, and Northanger Abbey


     A quest is a tale that celebrates how one can cleverly and
resolutely rise superior to all opposition.  Yet as fresh prospectives on
history now suggest,  in this search for freedom and order,  the masculine
craving for adventure, demanded restrictions upon women,  forcing her into
deeper confinement, even within her limited province.  Thus the rights of a
man are separated by the expectancies of a woman.   Each subsequent story
deals with a search for truth that is hidden by the facades of social
convention.   This search is often hampered by the conventions that are
part of the outside and inside domain.  For a female's quest is best
displayed in the sphere of domestic life, which drastically diminishes her
diversity of action, compared to men who are expected to live public,
successful lives.

      The Homeric journey for males is a physical adventure in the
external world. Odysseus is a man who pursues his objective against all
opposition.  He absolutely refuses to give in,  whatever happens to him en
route for home.   Constantly, he reinforces the principle that will guide
him throughout his struggles:

                  "For if some god batters me far
                  out on the wine-blue water, I will endure it,
                  keeping a stubborn spirit inside of me,
                  for already I have suffered much and
                  done much hard work..." (The Odyssey  9. 12-16)

So the hero of The Odyssey displays the manifold ability to overcome beings
of all kinds, one after the other.  Always he comes to fore as the master,
and by his extraordinary greatness,...


... middle of paper ...


...t intensive of adventures,  is to tear the
guise of alien. Thus we may learn a fresh respect for courage and why so
much is necessary.  Only then can we appreciate how gallant, how witty and
yet how compassionate that quest was.

Works Cited and Consulted

Austen, Jane.  Northanger Abbey, Oxford World's Classics, 1998.

Benstock, Shari, ed.  Feminist Zssues in Literary Scholarship. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1987.

Crane, Gregory , Calypso: Backgrounds and Conventions of the Odyssey,  Frankfurt, Athenaeum 1988

Delany, Sheila. Writing Women: Women Writers and Women in Literature: Medieval to Modern. New York: Schocken, 1983.

Homer (Translated by Robert Fagles. Preface by Bernard Knox). The Odyssey. New York: Viking Penguin, div. of Penguin Books, Ltd. 1996.

Woolf, Virginia. A Room of One's Own. 1929. New York: Harvest-Harcourt, 1989.

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