The Construction of female identity in Timberlake Wertenbaker's The Grace of Mary Traverse and The Break of Day

Thesis Type: Postgraduate

Institution Of The Thesis: Middle East Technical University, Faculty of Education, Department of Foreign Language Education, Turkey

Approval Date: 2012

Thesis Language: English

Student: Gülüzar Öztürk



This thesis aims to analyse the construction of female identity from the beginning of the feminist activism in Victorian era whose rationale was formed during the eighteenth century, to the contemporary times in terms of patriarchy and motherhood in Timberlake Wertenbaker’s The Grace of Mary Traverse and The Break of Day. This study is conducted with the historical development of the feminist movement that has had different agendas at different periods of history being taken into account. Fighting for women’s emancipation and equality, feminism has helped women attain certain rights; however certain roles imposed on women that have been designed to define fema le identity cannot be said to have been eliminated. Rather, as this study shows, the oppression women have faced has just changed direction; but its nature is still the same. To this end, Wertenbaker presents the situation of women in different contexts of time and circumstances in her plays. Women’s quest for identity has been interrupted and diverted by various oppressive mechanisms and institutions which are patriarchy and motherhood as the major focus of analysis throughout this thesis in Wertenbaker’s plays.