Rewriting myths: Voicing female experience in Margaret Atwood's Surfacing and The Penelopiad and Marina Warner's Indigo and The Leto Bundle

Thesis Type: Postgraduate

Institution Of The Thesis: Orta Doğu Teknik Üniversitesi, Faculty of Education, Department of Foreign Language Education, Turkey

Approval Date: 2010




Myths have been an undeniable source in both shaping and expressing the values, norms and behavioural patterns in societies. However, the archetypes in these myths have helped to oppress women in their personal and social lives and have forced them to accept identities which actually are not theirs. Feminist archetypal theorists propose that through a detailed study of common images of women’s writings, fantasies, dreams and myths, the archetypes that women possess will be uncovered and the female experience will have the chance to be voiced more accurately. The aim of this thesis is to explore Surfacing and The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood and Indigo and The Leto Bundle by Marina Warner to lay bare the attempts of both writers to break away from the male-oriented myths so as to rewrite female experience via rewriting myths. In four novels, the archetypes and mythical elements are used in rewriting the gender and sexual identity markers which have long been imposed on women by patriarchal mythmakers. By rewriting these markers, both writers not only voice the genuine female experience and the body but also pave the way for the creation of new myths which would celebrate female identity and freedom.