Cultural conditioning and mother/daughter conflicts in the development of identity and voice: The autobiographical fiction of Dorothy Allison, Wan-So Pak, and Maxine Hong Kingston
This dissertation examines the fictionalized autobiographies of three women writers from different cultures and ethnicities and analyzes the development of female identity, subjectivity, and voice through the mother/daughter relationships in Dorothy Allison's Bastard Out Of Carolina, Wan-So Pak's The Naked Tree and Mother's Stake 1, and Maxine Hong Kingston's The Woman Warrior. These three women writers introduce the mother/daughter conflicts and suggest ways to reconcile with each other or to solve their problems in their particular and cultural contexts. Also, in spite of their cultural differences, all three women writers share their belief that the process of the daughter's search for identity is mainly based on interaction within the mother/daughter relationship. ^ As examples of a non-mixed culture, Bastard Out Of Carolina, The Naked Tree, and Mother's Stake 1 illustrate that the daughters in poverty and patriarchy have similar problems with their mothers in the process of finding their identity and independence. As the case of the mixed culture in The Woman Warrior, the daughter must understand her family history, culture, and her mother's life-story in order to find her identity and her voice. Moreover, those fictionalized autobiographies reveal that the white American culture underscores the individuality in the mother/daughter relationships while the Asian culture emphasizes the daughters' filial piety and obedience to their mothers and families. In the case of mixed culture, the different notions of individuality between mothers and daughters cause their conflicts. ^ The struggles of these three women authors for identity, their insights, and eventual subjectivity have resulted in finding their voices and thus becoming authors. Using their own life-stories, these authors reveal that when the daughter can establish her own identity, subjectivity, voice, and autonomy, she can finally harmonize with or accept her mother in their troubled relationships. Also, this study discovers that the mother/daughter relationships across the world are similar because all mothers and daughters live in capitalist and patriarchal societies and because psychological similarities transcend their cultural differences. ^
Literature, Comparative|Biography|Literature, Asian|Literature, American
"Cultural conditioning and mother/daughter conflicts in the development of identity and voice: The autobiographical fiction of Dorothy Allison, Wan-So Pak, and Maxine Hong Kingston"
Dissertations and Master's Theses (Campus Access).