Lesbian Identity in Literature Analysis

The Issue

(Society and Self, Critical Representations in Literature)

Literature has identified lesbians in many different ways; most male authors have taken great license with their description of women who were or were suspected of having sexual interest in other women. The power of literature to define and describe the common terms and ideas of a society can keep groups of people invisible. It is possible that the literary description of lesbians and their lives have had a great impact on the lives of women who read the literature in anticipation of learning more about themselves. Thus, one may argue that life may have imitated art; women who read about certain—often stereotypical—aspects of lesbianism may have found themselves accepting what they read.