Giving Voice to Females: Natural and Urban Environments as Connection to Emotion

Student: Alexa Marie Marzocca
Mentor: Cara Erdheim Kilgallen
Major: English

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the movement of Ecofeminism and support it through literary examples. The term Ecofeminism relates to the subordination and oppression of nature and its parallel to women. Provided with background history of Ecofeminism, this paper is meant to focus on the history of women and nature’s parallel oppression and how women are able to achieve an independence and assurance in their own skin and make their voice resonate to their oppressors. Through the environmental settings of nature and the urban backdrop, the female characters in the novels are able to develop a voice throughout their symbolic interactions in each particular setting. The characters of Edna in Kate Chopin’s The Awakening and Carrie in Theodore Dreiser’s Sister Carrie become easily influenced by their environments and allow themselves to succumb to their femininity and sexual awakenings in early 20th century. The Ecofeminist values that are incorporated in each of the texts allow the women to break out of their social contexts and overcome the oppression each environment, especially in the subordinate patriarch societies that are present in each novel.