Women in Literature

It is not surprising that most of the female writers we have enjoyed this year have
written largely about gender issues, particularly (and obviously) women's rights to equal
opportunity and equal treatment.However, almost every writer that we've read that dealt
with such issues also had other issues that of which they wanted to make us (the readers)
aware.Gender oppression is not the only kind of oppression, as we all know.I have tried to
choose a wide variety of women writers in order to explore more than just gender issues (but
still including gender issues), things such as race, heritage, culture, and individuality.Many
writers can deal with multiple issues at once, but the mark of a great writer is if she can do so
effectively, with regards to each issue.
Audre Lorde once referred to herself as a "black feminine lesbian warrior poet."(It
is therefore befitting that Lorde writes about, among other things, race issues, gender issues,
lesbian issues, and identity issues.)Along with this self-prescribed stance taken by Lorde
came an intense desire on the part of the writer to learn more about the ancient matriarchal
myths of Africa; in doing so, Lorde wanted to learn more about her own heritage, to search
for her own identity.Her poem "From the House of Yemanja" (2130-2131) deals
specifically with the Yoruban culture of Western Nigeria, as evidenced by the title (Yemanja
is the mother of all other gods and goddesses in the Yoruban belief system).Such a culture
would be very appealing to Lorde, who most likely experienced many of the remnants of a
once absolutely male-dominant society, some of which still remain even to this day.
In "From the House of Yemanja," Lorde conjures the Jungian images of two
mothers, one kind and nurturing, the other existing solely for the purpose of denial.These
two mothers are perhaps the "two faces…