A Socialist Feminist Reading of Doris Lessing’s the Grass is Singing

By Wan Roselezam Wan Yahya and Pedram Lalbakhsh.

Published by The Humanities Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper examines how the society shapes and redefines women’s identity through capitalist patriarchal economy in Doris Lessing’s novel The Grass Is Singing. Being aware of women’s sufferings and problems under a patriarchal domination organized in the context of capitalism has consciousness-raising as its outcome. As a result, shared problems and oppressions come to the surface and planning to make a ‘change’ becomes possible. It is making a ‘change’ that stands as the ultimate aim of socialist feminists as well as others who are related to feminism(s) in one way or another. This novel relates the story of Mary who lost her economic independence and her status as a successful young woman after her marriage to Dick. The finding shows that Mary’s identity goes under a new definition according to the patriarchal capitalist ideology. Another finding suggests that in order to understand the society that Lessing depicts and the way that this society determines the life of the people, one has to look at it from two angles: capitalism and patriarchy.

Keywords: Female Oppression, Patriarchal Capitalism, Socialist Feminism

International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 7, Issue 12, pp.1-12. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.156MB).

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Wan Roselezam Wan Yahya

Senior Lecturer, Department of English, Faculty of Modern Languages and Communication, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia

Wan Roselezam Wan Yahya is a Senior Lecturer in English Literature at the Faculty of Modern Languages and Communication, Universiti Putra Malaysia. She is involved in several researches dealing with literature & culture, psychoanalysis & literature, literature in ESL, and diasporic literature.

Pedram Lalbakhsh

Postgraduate Student Researcher, Faculty of Modern Languages and Communication, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia

Pedram Lalbakhsh has received his B.A in English Literature from Razi University, and his M.A in English Literature from Shiraz University (Iran). He is currently a PhD student in University Putra Malaysia.


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