• Sandra Gilbert & Susan Gubar

    The Madwoman in the Attic

    Argument: How dominant are women writers in a man’s world “If the Queen’s looking glass speaks with the King’s voice.” “How do its perpetual kingly admonitions affect the Queen’s own voice?”

    Their view on…

    Harold Bloom’s

    Literary Oedipal struggle: Strictly male. It can not be reversed since we can not find symmetry between boys’ and girls’ development.

    Electra structure: Unlike the Oedipal structure, women look at female predecessors because they share a bond, a “sisterhood”.

    Anxiety of Influence: More severe for women because their precursors are predominantly male. A stronger bond is created between the influence-r and influence-d because of the inevitable scrutiny the influence-r went through.

    Anxiety of Authorship: Is a result of the fact that women leave little or no impact among their audience. Authority does not define women.

    Psychoanalysis: “Psychoanalysis is not a recommendation for a patriarchal society, but an analysis of one.”

    The Result of a Male-Dominant World “Patriarchal socialization literally makes women sick, both physically and mentally.”

    Hysteria: The result of oppression, expectations, and pressure.

    Anorexia: “A woman’s only power is the power of refusal.”

    Agoraphobia: Occurred mostly in middle-aged housewives.

    Claustrophobia: Eyes closed motif.

    Aphasia and Amnesia: represents what a patriarchal society expects of women.

    Examples of Female Writer:

    Emily Dickinson.

    The Bronte sisters.

    Mary Shelley

    Gilbert and Gubar depict how each one of them is her own “madwoman” in the attic.

    The Semi-Solution: Forming a subculture paralleling “the secret sisterhood” which enables women to be influenced by earlier female authors and manifests their thoughts on paper.


    Nour Al-Qattan

    Afnan Al-Mulaifi