7th Annual WML Academic Symposium

Time: 12:30 PM
Rm 312
Presenter(s): Lydia Huth
Title: The Room of Mirrors: Bellefleur and Women’s Liberation
Developed under the guidance of Dr. Sherry Truffin , English

Novelist Joyce Carol Oates believed that the women’s liberation movement would help women to “lose the self-hypnotizing room of mirrors” created by seeing themselves through society’s eyes. Oates’ Gothic novel Bellefleur features this “room” where female characters constantly struggle for approval within stifling boundaries crafted to support male supremacy. Three women strive to free themselves from these expectations, and their attempts suggest that liberation is achieved through a balance between femininity and masculinity. Oates shows that it is possible to define ourselves by our personal beliefs, even when initially forced to see ourselves through a lens of race or gender.