The Feminization of Quest-Romance: Radical Departures


The Feminization of Quest-Romance: Radical Departures



The Feminization of Quest-Romance proposes that a female quest is a revolutionary step in both literary and cultural terms. Indeed, despite the difficulty that women writers face in challenging myths, rituals, psychological theories, and literary conventions deemed universal by a culture that exalts masculine ideals and universalizes male experience, a number of revolutionary texts have come into existence in the second half of the twentieth century by such American women writers as Jean Stafford, Mary McCarthy, Anne Moody, Marilynne Robinson, and Mona Simpson, all of them working to redefine the literary portrayal of American women's quests. They work, in part, by presenting questing female characters who refuse to accept the roles accorded them by restrictive social norms, even if it means sacrificing themselves in the name of rebellion. In later texts, female heroes survive their "lighting out" experiences to explore diverse alternatives to the limiting roles that have circumscribed female development. []



Publication Date



University of Texas Press


Austin, TX


American literature, Female hero, Feminist criticism, Heroines in literature, Literary criticism, Monomyth, Quest romance, Women in literature, Women's quest, Women writers


American Literature | Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies