2007 Student Research Conference:
20th Annual Student Research Conference

Language & Literature

Dangerous Crossing: Deconstruction of Stereotyped Gender Roles in Willa Cather's O Pioneers! and The Professor's House
Dana Rufener
Dr. Alanna Preussner, Faculty Mentor

My final paper will be a comparative study on the main characters in O Pioneers! and The Professor’s House. The literary constructions of the two chief characters show many similarities as well as differences. The paper attempts to show how Willa Cather exploits gender issues. Her characters are neither typically male nor female and the gender roles are often reversed and the boundaries are fuzzy. The paper shall, however, not become a study on Willa Cather’s own sexual orientation. Many studies show a narrow approach to gender and sexuality and seem to limit Cather’s imagination and literary freedom. In my paper I try to analyze Willa Cather's texts with a combination of a deconstructive and psychoanalytic literary approach which will mainly be shown in the close-reading of the primary sources, but will also include some literary criticism from secondary sources.

Keywords: Comparative Study, Deconstruction, Psychoanalysis, Gender Studies, Close-reading, main characters , gendered space, other examples

Topic(s):English

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 58-3
Location: OP 2117
Time: 3:15 pm

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