Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Thomas Koenigs

Reader 2

Aaron Matz

Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2016 Shelby T. Wax


This thesis looks at female suicide in literature from the 1890s to 1970s in the novels The Awakening by Kate Chopin, Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf, and Play It As It Lays by Joan Didion. Looking at these female-penned novels in comparison the canon of Western literature, they all clearly indicate a change in the treatment of female protagonists suffering from loss. In The Awakening, suicide is represented as a rebirth. In Mrs. Dalloway, the protagonist suffers from a fragmentation of the self. In Play It As It Lays, the protagonist finds life through the Absurd.