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Good and Bad Mothering in the Fiction of Marian Keyes: A Discourse Analysis.
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of language studies.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The object of this essay is to map the discourses of good versus bad mothering in four selected novels by Marian Keyes, and to analyze how they relate to hegemonic Western discourses of motherhood.  The analytical approach is based on Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe’s discourse theory. In the essay I identify six central discursive structures in Keyes’ fictive representation of good and bad mothering. The explored structures deal with the proper social conditions for mothering, the mother’s unique role and function, mothering and professional pursuits, the rejection of children, depression and aggression in the mother, and mothering and substance abuse. They are described and contextualized with the aid of Laclau and Mouffe’s terminology and perspective on discursive struggle. The conclusion is that Keyes’ literary discourse connects good mothering with sustained maturing and individuality in the mother, while suggesting that bad mothering is related to relinquished integrity and personal potential.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 27 p.
Keyword [en]
motherhood, chick lit, mother-love, working mother, single mother, depression, alcoholism
National Category
Languages and Literature
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-89944OAI: diva2:725286
Subject / course
Engelska, examensarbete för kandidatexamen
Available from: 2014-06-17 Created: 2014-06-16 Last updated: 2014-06-17Bibliographically approved

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