This feminist analysis addresses Lindsey Collen’s intertextual use of myth in The Rape of Sita and how her reformation of the parodied texts becomes a resistance to patriarchy. Collen’s examination of possible counteractions against patriarchy is analysed and it is determined whether or not she posits writing, especially demythologization, as the best resistance to patriarchal discourse. Also, her assertion that transformation and a unity of the sexes are needed to bring about equality is studied. The methodology used is qualitative and inductive. The sources are examined and interpreted through close-reading strategies which reveal the complexities of the text and the way in which Collen subverts myth. Classical and Hindu myths and other texts, such as T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land, are re-read and re-examined to investigate to what extent they have challenged or championed patriarchal ideology, through which it is hoped that a greater understanding of the way in which mythology contributes to attitudes to rape is gained. Three other texts dealing with rape are also studied, in order to better place Collen’s novel in context of the genre. Primarily, feminist criticism, particularly with an African feminist viewpoint, is used. However, because a conflation of post-colonial and postmodern approaches is embedded within feminism, these concepts are dealt with also. Theorists drawn upon include Michel Foucault, Roland Barthes, Mircea Eliade and Margaret Atwood.
Dissertation (MA (English))--University of Pretoria, 2007.