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Grand Valley State University The Revolt of Mother Literature Paper Essay

Grand Valley State University The Revolt of Mother Literature Paper Essay

Question Description

Instructions: Select one prompt on which to write a paper of no more than three pages in length. Submit the essay via the link on the ‘Assignments’ page of our Blackboard site. Stories may be found on Blackboard’s ‘Course Documents’ page: Mary Wilkin Freeman’s “The Revolt of ‘Mother’”; Ursula K. Le Guin’s “She Unnames Them”; Katherine Mansfield’s “The Tiredness of Rosabel”; and Colum McCann’s “Everything in this Country Must….” Review the rubric on the ‘Assignments’ page to gain a better understanding of what is expected of this formal academic paper! Most importantly, remember that this is a class in critical theory: Be certain to explain, not simply define, and apply theoretical concepts within and throughout your paper!

  1. Think about the tenuous nature of agency and resistance. When do we have agency? When is resistance necessary? Is agency itself a resistance against hegemonic structures? Is resistance an act of agency? Most importantly, what do the answers to these (and perhaps other questions of your own) look like in application? Choose any one of these f our stories—“She Unnames Them,” “The Tiredness of Rosabel,” “Everything in this Country Must…,” or “The Revolt of ‘Mother’”— and explore that relational tension between agency and resistance. Again: Just one story. once you pick the story you are going to use I can post it to you.

Also since my last paper was bad teacher told me what I needed to fix for my next paper and it is applying the concepts and how it apply to the story, build on the concepts within the story, us more about the concepts not the story and how concepts function in the story. Also refer to the concepts early on and how they function and how they matter. It also needs a good conclusion and applying the concepts within the story and how they function in the story.

Here are all the concepts


American Africanism: stereotypical concepts and constructs placed by white writers on black characters and culture in their works. [Toni Morrison, Playing in the Dark (1992)]

‘Angel in the House’: Victorian phrase (poem by Coventry Patmore, 1854) in which the woman typifies the values of patriarchal femininity and domesticity; Virginia Woolf made famous the term in an essay. [(Virginia Woolf, “Professions for Women” (1931)]

Compulsory Heterosexuality: heterosexuality perceived as a violent political institution making way for the “male right of physical, economical, and emotional access” to women. [Adrienne Rich, “Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence” (1980)]

Cultural Capital: not simply economic advantages gained through wealth, but also access to ways of speaking, behavior, taste, and discrimination that distinguish individuals of this class. [Pierre Bourdieu, “The Forms of Capital” (1985)]

Double Bind: marginalization, oppression, discrimination and disenfranchisement of an individual for more than a single socio-cultural reason.

Double Consciousness: the awareness that blacks are caught between two cultures, the African culture and its evolution in America and the dominant white culture. [W. E. B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk (1903)]

Double-Voiced: the warring ideals of white culture and black culture represented in African-American literary writing—a quality which makes it unique and seeks to revise Western literary tradition. [Henry Louis Gates, The Signifying Monkey: A Theory of Afro-American Literary Criticism (1988)]

Gender: refers to the socially-constructed identities man, woman, masculine, feminine;. gender is held to be a product of the prevailing mores, expectations, and stereotypes of a particular culture and so is arbitrary.

L’Ecriture Feminine: wholeness of selfhood in women’s writing—fluid, melodic language that is the natural result of feminine thought processes—that is separate and distinguishable from the analytical style of writing typical of male-dominated culture. [Hélène Cixous, “Laugh of the Medusa” (1975)]

Lesbian Continuum: broad spectrum of intimate relations between women, from those involving sexual desire to mother-daughter relationships and female friendships, to ties of political solidarity. [Adrienne Rich, “Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence” (1980)]

Performative Acts: position that gender identity is compelled by social sanction and taboo, repeatedly constructed through time, and always constructed through the body: 1) speech;
2) attire; 3) behavior. [Judith Butler, “Performative Acts and Gender Constitution” (1988)]

Psychological Wage: the ‘bonus’ of white privilege through unifying, racist political actions and ideology that subjugate people of color, justify violence, and legitimize injustice [W. E. B. Du Bois, Black Reconstruction (1935)].

Sex: the biological designation of male or female, based on anatomy.

Sisterhood: psychological/political bonding of women based upon recognition of common experiences and goals.

Woman’s Sentence: belief that women writers should develop their own characteristic styles of expression rather than employing styles developed in the course of literary tradition by men. [Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own (1929)]


Agency: the capacity of the individual to act in and respond to the context of their lived conditions.

Biopower: external practices of power and material relations by modern nation states that regulate and determine ‘life’ by subjugating the individual. [Michel Foucault, The Will to Knowledge (1976)]

Biopolitical: strategies and mechanisms of government, creating sociopolitical constraints and power structures to which the individual is subject. [Foucault, “Society Must Be Defended” (1975)]

Bios: form of life circumscribed by social categories—gender, class, race, ethnicity, sexuality, nationality, disability. (Aristotle, Nichomachean Ethics (c. 350 B.C.E.)

Prosumer: production of the subject through consumptive living practices.

Resistance: refusal to accept or comply with acts of hegemonic, interpellative and biolpolitical powers that attempt to standardize life.

Zoe: raw, unfettered quality of our biological existence—‘animal’ life (Aristotle, Nichomachean Ethics (c. 350 B.C.E.)


Anthropocentrism: the position that the interests of humans are higher than those of non-humans.

Biocentrism: the position that all organisms, including humans, are part of a larger biotic network whose welfare must direct human interests.

Ecocentrism: view that the interests of the ecosphere must override the interests of individual species, with no dividing lines between the living and nonliving, the animate and inanimate.

Ecocriticism: study of relationship between literature and the environment, conducted in a spirit of commitment to environmental ethics. [Lawrence Buell, The Environmental Imagination (1995)]

L’animot: term meant to invoke the plurality of nonhuman life forms and their suffering in the complex relationship of animal-human distinctions. [Jacques Derrida, The Animal That Therefore I Am (1997)]

Posthumanism: idea that humanity can be transformed, transcended or eliminated either by technological advances or the evolutionary process:

  • transhumanism: eliminate aging, enhance intellectual, physical, psychological capacities;
  • AI takeover: humans will be replaced by artificial intelligences;
  • voluntary human extinction.


Agency: the capacity of a person to make choices and act freely in the world.

Authority: institutionalized or legal power to constrain and convert subjects.

Culture: the sum of social patterns, traits, and products of a particular time or group of people; practices, habits, customs, beliefs and traditions that become institutions within that time and space, particular to that time and space.

Discourse: ways of speaking that are bound by ideological, professional, cultural, political, or sociological communities—ways of thinking and talking about the world which promote specific kinds of power relations.

False Consciousness: an ideology that appears of value but which actually serves the interests of those in power, offering the illusion of being part of the “natural order” of things, but they actually disguise and draw one’s attention from socio-economic conditions that limit, oppress, and deny the potential of the individual. [Friedrich Engels, “Letter to Mehring” (1893)]

Hegemony: the ‘spontaneous consent’ given by the masses to the imposed, formalized social practices of the dominant fundamental power, convincing the less powerful these behaviors are for their own good. [Antonio Gramsci, Prison Notebooks (c. 1927-35)]

Identity Politics: ideological formations that typically aim to secure the political freedom of a specific marginalized constituency within its larger context through assertion of power, reclamation of distinctive characteristics, and appropriation of signifiers that have been used to oppress or demean.

Ideology: a belief system that develops out of cultural conditioning—and which may be repressive or oppressive even as it is passed off as “the way it is” in the world; these interrelated ideas form a seemingly coherent view of the world.

Interpellation: a process by which ideology constitutes subjected identity through institutions, discourses, and other social, cultural and familial factors:

  • situation precedes subject, ‘hailing’ the subject who is ‘always-already interpellated’
  • identities are produced by social forces rather than independent agency, constituted in Ideological State Apparatuses (schools, churches, families, and so on) and Repressive State Apparatuses (government, courts, police force, military). [Louis Althusser, “Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses” (1971)]

Performative Acts: position that gender identity is compelled by social sanction and taboo, repeatedly constructed through time, and always constructed through the body: 1) speech;
2) attire; 3) behavior. [Judith Butler, “Performative Acts and Gender Constitution” (1988)]

Political Unconscious: the concept that all texts are destabilized by their historical reality—that is, the text is a socially symbolic act, given its reliance on an historical language and material conditions that are, themselves, ideological acts of false consciousness. [Frederic Jameson, The Political Unconscious: Narrative as Socially Symbolic Act (1981)]

Power: an act, through ability or official capacity to exercise control of a system or function, reducing and limiting the will and freedom of the individual. [Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish (1975), “The Subject and Power” (1982)]

Resistance: refusal to accept or comply with acts of hegemonic, interpellative and biolpolitical powers that attempt to standardize life.

Subjectivity: parameters of identity, recognized by others, as defined by cultural and social practices.

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