The IUP Journal of English Studies
Back to the Mother: Matrilineal Linkage in Willa Cather’s My Antonia

Article Details
Pub. Date : Dec, 2018
Product Name : The IUP Journal of English Studies
Product Type : Article
Product Code : IJES41812
Author Name : Eman Khalil Mukattash
Availability : YES
Subject/Domain : English Studies
Download Format : PDF Format
No. of Pages : 19



The paper approaches the question of female identity in Willa Cather’s My Antonia from a psychoanalytic perspective based on opposing Jacques Lacan’s view of identity as a form of “masquerade” and Julia Kristeva’s view of identity as a form of “jouissance.” Though Antonia is a victim, she manages to establish herself as a desiring subject in the Symbolic.


All the strong things of her heart came out in her body [the mother’s body], that had been so tireless in serving generous emotions. (Cather 1918)

It is the inexplicable presence of the thing [the mother] not named. (Cather 1918)

In a general sense, all dependence is more difficult for woman to attain. Unlike the young male self, the young female self is defined not through independence from the mother but through bonding and identification with her. (De Abruna 1988)


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