International Journal of
English and Literature

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. English Lit.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2626
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJEL
  • Start Year: 2010
  • Published Articles: 263


Divergent perspectives: The representation of the maternal subject in American postwar novels about the rejection of motherhood

Hanan Alazaz
  • Hanan Alazaz
  • Princess Nurah Bint Abdulrahman University, Saudi Arabia.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 17 May 2015
  •  Accepted: 11 December 2015
  •  Published: 31 March 2016


The article examines the nuanced representation of the rejection of motherhood in three postwar American novels to highlight the perspectives on maternal subjectivity. A close reading of the texts is utilized to analyze patterns of the rejection of motherhood displayed in abortion and infanticide or rejecting the traditional model of motherhood that is limited to females. This close analysis reveals the nuances in the representation of the rejection of motherhood. Although the novels highlight a feminine subjectivity that is independent from the maternal one, their representation reveals that these examples of the literary production of the seventies may not be completely independent from conservative approaches to feminine subjectivity.

Key words: Maternal subjectivity, feminism, American postwar novel-rejection of motherhood, Sophie’s Choice-Woman on the Edge of Time- Bonnie Jo, Go Home