Portrayal of motherhood by female authors in American literature in the Light of The Awakening, Herland and The Narrow House
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The societal claim that skills and passion come naturally as soon as a woman becomes a mother is where my research interest begins. Besides, my personal experience of pregnancy and holding a life inside my body, intrigued me to do research in this topic. Due to the word limitation I am only allowed to finish my research by looking into a few aspects of motherhood with the help of literary texts. I have decided to work on three American female novelists and their works namely, Kate Chopin's The Awakening, Charlotte Perkins Gilman's Herland and Evelyn Scott's The Narrow House. I want to know how motherhood was acknowledged and portrayed in the early 20th century American literature. I have mostly used Adrienne Rich and Sara Ruddick's theories related to motherhood to give the theoretical structure of my research. Motherhood has always been seen as a sacred duty in all cultures. Not all women are willing or able to carry out this sacred duty, owing to the fact that an immense amount of resources; time, energy, attention; and a lot of sacrifices are required in this rank. That is why the image of a mother always being a selfless caregiver is an incomplete one. There are women who want to reach out to other big dreams in life. However, the position of mother being the only caregiver creates hindrance in the way to realise one's other dreams in life. My analysis focuses on how three female writers have challenged this established notion of motherhood as women's sacred duity. In addition to that, I depict the image of "New woman" as well as new mother as explored in the novels and how these "New Woman" are not satisfied only by being a mother. I will also be looking at the different ways in which the novels also address the importance of shared motherhood as it creates opportunities for the "New Woman" to flourish in many ways. Moreover, with the help of these three novels I will be busting the myth that women's sexuality does not vanish into thin air with the experience of motherhood.