Form and Content
Susan Griffin’s Woman and Nature: The Roaring Inside Her is the result of a lecture that Griffin was asked to deliver on women and ecology, and is, in its author’s words, “an unconventional book.” Juxtaposing the objective, authoritative, and detached voice of patriarchy with the emotional, initially tentative, and collective voices of women, Griffin posits a dialogue between these voices that reveals the significance of cultural and gender-based points of view regarding nature. By refusing to be limited by literary conventions commonly associated with prose, Griffin manages to blend the genres of prose and poetry in a critique of the relationships between Western civilization and nature, between men and women, and between objectivity and emotion.
Woman and Nature explores the traditional Western identification of woman with Earth and, in this sense, is a cultural anthropology chronicling the attitudes surrounding this identification. Griffin’s extensive research ranges from philosopher Plato to psychologist Sigmund Freud, from novelist Charlotte Perkins Gilman to poet Adrienne Rich, and the illustrations that she provides from her research result in the inclusion of many voices. The two predominating voices in the book—that of patriarchy and that of the “other,” notably woman—are indicated by different type-styles both to represent the dialogue between the two voices visually and to allow the reader to see how...
(The entire section is 455 words.)