Beyond biological maternity: Katherine Mansfield’s autobiographical experience

Gerardo Rodríguez Salas

Abstract

The present study departs from a contradictory view on maternity as a distinctive trait of the woman’s body and as a departure point to establish her feminine identity. Considering the theories on motherhood of two great French feminist critics (Simone de Beaouvoir, who claims for the radical rejection of the maternity that has imprisoned women for life, and Julia Kristeva, who in her essay «Stabat Mater» points at the need to use strategically the mother’s body, transcending its biological essentialism and discovering its potential for feminine self-fulfilment), I study New Zealand writer Katherine Mansfield’s metaphorical maternity (with her letters and journals as a corpus) to show the literary alternative of this writer to the restrictions of biological maternity in the heroines of her short stories.

Keywords

Femininity; Intentional mimicry; Biological and metaphorical maternity; Angel in the House



DOI: https://doi.org/10.14198/fem.2004.4.07





Copyright (c) 2004 Gerardo Rodríguez Salas

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