In Quest for Identity & Oppressed Identities in Michelle Cliff’s Abeng (1990): An Eco-Feminist Perspective
Keywords:eco-criticism, eco-feminism, post-colonialism, Michelle Cliff
The feminist movement is ever transforming because it challenges the injustices continually practiced against women. A vital part of the movement is ecofeminism, which addresses issues surrounding the degradation of both women and nature. According to eco-feminist theory, patriarchal societies consist of a culture/nature dualism in which culture and males are both valued: culture is valued for itself, and males are as being associated with culture. Conversely, females are associated with nature, and both of them are devalued. Eco-feminist literary criticism, which is a part of ecocriticism, involves analyzing a work by focusing on gender and/or race oppression, oppressed identities and their correlation with subjugation of the natural world. This paper aims at examining the eco-feminist aspects in Michelle Cliff’s quasi-autobiographical novel, Abeng (1990). The focus is on identifying how the female protagonists interact with their surrounding world. Cliff highlights the struggles that females face when trying to make their voices heard, identities recognized and to perform tasks equal to men. The importance of showcasing women authors who write from an eco-feminist perspective is that it proclaims that societies in which females are treated as equals to males will be in accord with nature.
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