Fay Weldon: A contemporary critical voice

Victoria Pickett Kirby, University of Rhode Island


Thus far in her literary career Fay Weldon has been largely ignored in academic circles in the United States. This study of her novels makes the claim that she needs to be recognized as one of the important women writers of the late 20th century and shows that her works offer an incisive critique of contemporaneous society. Weldon is a materialist-feminist writer who writes social critiques to expose the dominant patriarchal views of our society as illusory, falsely structured, and dangerous to women, who have been traditionally devalued. Through her fiction Weldon seeks to achieve a transformation process for her readers and a heightened understanding of the female experience.^ In the Introduction, Weldon is discussed as a humorist who writes as an insightful author of change.^ Chapter Two examines how Weldon exposes the adverse effects of archetyping in contemporary society, especially as it impacts upon mothers in our culture.^ Chapter Three analyzes the traditional patriarchal ideas of marriage in our culture to show how Weldon contrasts the idealistic with the real experiences of married Life.^ Chapter Four looks at Weldon's view of traditional Christian religion as it impacts upon women's lives, especially pointing to the disparity between the theoretical religious doctrines and their actual impact upon women's lives.^ Chapter Five examines Weldon's view of the importance of work in women's lives in order to provide meaning for the self and social transformation.^ The concluding chapter renders an extensive summary and assessment of Weldon's materialist-feminist vision of societal change. Ultimately, Weldon's challenge to the patriarchy forces her readers into re-thinking their world, engendering a transformation process for the individual as well as for society. ^

Subject Area

Women's Studies|Literature, English

Recommended Citation

Victoria Pickett Kirby, "Fay Weldon: A contemporary critical voice" (1997). Dissertations and Master's Theses (Campus Access). Paper AAI9831108.