Campus Only Senior Thesis
Bachelor of Arts
© 2016 Claire E. Daly
This thesis examines the constructions of madness and hysteria as diagnoses used to subjugate the protagonists in Bessie Head’s A Question of Power and Kate Chopin’s The Awakening. In juxtaposing these texts, themes including “lone womanhood” surface to identify both protagonists’ means for liberation from patriarchal and colonialist oppression. While for Edna of The Awakening, liberation from the hysteria diagnosis comes through bodily sovereignty, A Question of Power’s Elizabeth is freed from the madness rendering by reclaiming her mental interiority.
Daly, Claire, "Constructing Difference: An Examination of Madness and Hysteria as Tools to Subjugate Women in Literature" (2017). Scripps Senior Theses. 923.
This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.