Download Madness and Sexual Politics in the Feminist Novel in PDF Full Online by Barbara Hill Rigney and published by Univ of Wisconsin Press. This book was released on 1978 with total page 164 pages. Available in PDF, EPUB and Kindle. Book excerpt: A greater part of the feminist movement has considered traditional psychology to be both a product and a defense of the status quo, a patriarchal society. Here, Barbara Hill Rigney explores emerging feminist psychology by applying it to literary works by women who have depicted the relationship between madness and the female condition. The result is a fascinating and illuminating exposition, certain to be welcomed by students and scholars in literature and women's studies, as well as those in sociology and psychology whose interests include feminism and problems of women and society. Among the works Rigney considers are Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre, Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway, Doris Lessing's The Four-Gated City, and Margaret Atwood's Surfacing, all of which depict insanity in relation to sexual politics. These authors portray a patriarchal social system which, in itself, manifests symptoms of collusive madness in the form of war or sexual oppression and is thereby seen as threatening to female psychological survival. Each of Rigney's author subjects sees her protagonist as tragically divided between male society's prescribed roles for women and a sense of an authentic self. Thus emerges a pattern, common to all works, in which the divided self is reflected by the inevitable juxtaposition of the protagonist to a doppelgänger, an "insane" self, an extension of the protagonist who herself can be regarded as sane only by degree. A return to "true" sanity is traced through the patterns found in the selected works. Rigney explores the literary metaphor of the return of Demeter or the Amazon mother to restore the alienated female protagonists. In order to begin the return from psychosis, Rigney concludes, they must find the mother within themselves in the form of a feminist consciousness of self-worth.