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Full-Text Articles in Modern Literature
The Obstacles To And Solutions Of Female Characters' Speech: Beatrice In Dante's Vita Nuova And Purgatorio And Susan In J. M. Coetzee's Foe, Tamara Savage
CMC Senior Theses
This thesis analyzes the speaking and silencing of two female characters, Beatrice from Dante’s Vita Nuova and Purgatorio and Susan from J. M. Coetzee’s Foe. The texts are viewed through postcolonial and feminist lenses to show the problems with male characters speaking for female characters and the obstacles the female characters face when attempting to speak. Dante’s solution to this problem is to transform Beatrice from a silent and demure woman into a character who issues commands with a powerful voice. Coetzee’s solution is instead to refuse to provide a solution, since no one but Susan ...