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The representation of the female self in graphic autobiographies through the dynamics of words and pictures.

By Ana Makuc


This paper deals with the representation of the female self in graphic autobiographies through the dynamics of words and pictures, and with its similarities with and differences from the inscription of the male graphic autobiographical self according to feminist autobiographical theories of subject-hood. To that end, it compares four graphic autobiographies: namely, Art Spiegelman’s Maus (1973–1991), Joe Sacco’s Palestine (1993–2001), Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis (2000–2003) and Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home (2006). Whereas women’s autobiographical self is supposed to be relational, collective, split, fluid, multiple, displaced, embodied and marginal, men seemingly represent themselves as distanced, appropriative of others, autonomous, heroic and exceptional. Women appear to be more interested in the personal, domestic and private, while men are considered to be more concerned with the political, public and professional. At the structural level, women’s autobiographies are acclaimed to be more fragmented with frequent gaps, silences, ambiguities, humour and uncertainties in the story, whilst men’s autobiographies are said to be written in a self-assertive linear and progressive manner. By exploring how relational and individualistic the subjects of the graphic autobiographies are, the main argument of this piece is that both female-authored texts display more stereotypically feminine characteristics than both male-authored texts, and that both male-authored texts portray more features that are associated with the masculine than both female-authored texts

Topics: HM Sociology, HQ The family. Marriage. Woman, PN0080 Criticism
Year: 2010
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Provided by: Lancaster E-Prints

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