Where is Nancy Drew's Mother?: An Exploration of Mother-Daughter Relationships in Novels of the Second-Wave Feminist Movement
Davis, Lauren E.
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Feminism had a distinct impact on the ways in which women wrote about mothers and daughters. The story of mothers and daughters is no longer a "great unwritten." During the second-wave feminist movement, girls and women in novels begin to be more like girls and women in real life. They have mothers. Their mothers are imperfect. Daughters seek to flee traditional femininity and create lives for themselves, but they frequently have mothers who would like to prevent them from doing this. Sometimes, as in Marge Piercy's Small Changes, mothers simply represent, and attempt to force on their daughters, patriarchal standards of traditional femininity. In other novels, such as Gail Godwin's The Odd Woman and Katherine Paterson's children's novel Jacob Have I Loved, mothers themselves are complex characters who exhibit behavior against which daughters rebel, while not actively attempting to make their daughters into traditional women.
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