Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Aaron Matz

Reader 2

Michelle Decker

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© 2016 Noor A Asif


Surrealism has often been labeled as a misogynistic movement that sought to provide man with an avenue into a higher reality at the expense of the humanity of women. By perceiving the opposite sex as their muses, Surrealist men rendered women as mysterious sources of the marvelous, the name given to the higher realm, which they desired to attain. I propose that Surrealist women were empowered by the fact that ‘woman’, as an abstract concept, and femininity were synonymous with the marvelous. This entailed that Surrealist women had the advantage of being “sources of revelation, as provokers of wonder, dreams, and freedom,” whose intellectual agency allowed them to delve into their own femininity in order to attain the higher reality that Surrealism was devoted to unlocking. In contrast from Surrealist men who relied on the image of woman to lead them to this superior realm, Surrealist women were able to look within themselves in order to comprehend the marvelous. Conversely, Surrealist women often reversed the idea of the muse, by exploring their feminine unconscious through the objectification of men.