Ecofeminism and Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism: Overviews - Essay

Lawrence Buell (essay date 1995)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Buell, Lawrence. “Pastoral Ideology.” In The Environmental Imagination: Thoreau, Nature Writing, and the Formation of American Culture, pp. 31-52. Cambridge: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1995.

[In the following excerpt, Buell discusses the distinct manner in which nineteenth-century women depicted nature.]

The feminist critique of wilderness romance should not block us from seeing how pastoral modes have functioned as a means of empowerment for women writers. While researching environmental writing and commentary from Thoreau's day to ours, I was surprised to find a significant degree of interdependence between the “major” male figures...

(The entire section is 2934 words.)

Josephine Donovan (essay date 1998)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Donovan, Josephine. “Ecofeminist Literary Criticism: Reading the Orange.” In Ecofeminist Literary Criticism: Theory, Interpretation, Pedagogy, edited by Greta Gaard and Patrick D. Murphy, pp. 74-96. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1998.

[In the following essay, Donovan posits that Western literary discourse has objectified and degraded nature by using inaccurate symbols (words) to displace the true meaning of the thing being described. According to Donovan, a better approach would be to direct close attention at each individual subject and to portray it in the most literal terms in order to provide a respectful description without distortion.]


(The entire section is 9099 words.)

Marcia B. Littenberg (essay date 2001)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Littenberg, Marcia B. “Gender and Genre: A New Perspective on Nineteenth-Century Women's Nature Writing.” In Such News of the Land: U. S. Women Nature Writers, edited by Thomas S. Edwards and Elizabeth A. DeWolfe, pp. 59-67. Hanover, N. H.: University Press of New England, 2001.

[In the following essay, Littenberg discusses the conditions surrounding the flourishing of women's nature writing in the late nineteenth century.]

In the last decades of the nineteenth century, American popular culture embraced nature and nature study in a number of important ways that encouraged women writers. Women writers published in a wide variety of popular magazines, as well...

(The entire section is 5439 words.)