Žemaitė’s Feminism
Articles
Dalia Čiočytė
Published 2009-01-01
https://doi.org/10.15388/Litera.2009.1.7786
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How to Cite

Čiočytė D. (2009) “Žemaitė’s Feminism”, Literatūra, 51(1), pp. 49-56. doi: 10.15388/Litera.2009.1.7786.

Abstract

The biography of Julija Beniuševičiūtė-Žymantie­nė – Žemaitė (1845–1921), one of the greatest Lithu­anian Realists, has got a broad accent of feminist ac­tivity. Some short stories written by Žemaitė express feminist ideas with publicistic pathos (In Town, „Mieste“, 1905, Mister Zigmantas, „Ponas Zigman­tas“, and others). In her short story Eve („Ieva“) Že­maitė presents an interesting ironic interpretation of the biblical archetype. Žemaitė’s best literary visions of women’s infelicity varies the topos of a quiet / silent / silenced woman and interestingly imply some gap between feminist ideology and literary meaning. In the short stories The Daughter-in-Law („Marti“, 1896), They Didn’t Have a Good Mother („Neturėjo geros motinos“, 1895) the reason of misfortunes se­ems to be deeper than just women being oppressed by men in the patriarchal society. The patriarchal op­pression of women is constructed as a metonymy of the philosophical evil. The short story Sutkai (1897) may be interpreted as a literary vision of a feminine utopia: woman’s identity here is defined rather as wholeness than “otherness”.
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