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A Feminist Approach to H.D.’s Poems

Author HaoWenHui
Tutor WangWen
School Shaanxi Normal University
Course English Language and Literature
Keywords Hilda Doolittle feminist literary criticism patriarchal ideology female literary tradition Sappho
Type Master's thesis
Year 2011
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Stepping into her career as a writer with the label of imagist poet, H.D. has been associated with imagism for a long time. But at the same time, she is also one of the most outstanding feminist writers in the twentieth century. Since the 1920s, she gradually shifted her style into "neo-epic" writing. Greek myths, especially myths about female images in the literary canons are reshaped from a perspective in contrast with the traditional patriarchal ideologies. Many mythic female figures are liberated from the male gaze and recollect their own voice once again as living ones with emotions.In addition to her revision on lives and myths about women, she also inherits and forges a new female literary tradition through her association with Sappho, the great literary mother and predecessor of all women writers. As one of the most important feminist pioneers in the twentieth century, she writes poems about the struggles and concerns of women. Female images in her poetry are always those powerful, active and rebelling ones in contrast with those weak, inferior, obedient and passive images in men’works. Through her poetic practice, she doesn’t only bring new meanings to the mythic past of all women, but also shapes a new female image for women at that time.

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