Women's Studies Abroad

From Radical Opposition to Rational Reflection: Gender Politics in American Feminist Fairytale Revisions

Hui Chunping
Institute of Foreign Languages, Nankai University
Collection of Women's Studies 2016-6

Abstract:Under the influence of postmodernist subversion of grand narratives, feminist writers have embarked on the critical re-reading and innovative rewriting of classic fairy tales. On the one hand, the conservative ideology embedded in classic fairy tales has given reason for criticism and rewriting, and on the other hand, the rival tradition of heretical stories has offered inexhaustible inspiration and motivation for revisions. Not only have these revisions disrupted and deconstructed the patriarchal discourse and gender politics behind the classic fairy tales, but they have also rewritten and reconstructed the narrative tradition of fairy tales through a dynamic dialogue with heretical stories. In terms of gender politics, feminist fairytale revisions have undergone a shift from earlier radical opposition to patriarchal discourse to contemporary rational reflection of their situations. This shift in emphasis not only reflects the changes in the social and cultural contexts, but also reveals the feminist writers' renewed perception and knowledge of gender politics.
Keywords:feminist fairytale revision, gender politics, patriarchal discourse

Paper type:Published