A Comparative Analysis of the Female Image in Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights and Simin Daneshvar’s Suvashun in Light of Elaine Showalter’s Literary Gynocriticism

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Linguistics, Payame Noor University, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Persian Language and Literature, Payame Noor University, Tehran, Iran


The current study examines two prominent Iranian and British novels, namely Simin Daneshvar’s Suvashun (1969) and Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights (1847) through the theoretical lens of Elaine Showalter’s Anglo-American literary gynocriticism in order to comparatively investigate their social and cultural themes in relation to female identity. Literary gynocriticism is concerned with the figure of the woman as writer, the producer of gynotextual meaning, genres, and a feminine literary tradition. This paper argues that despite the spatial, temporal, and cultural distance between the two novels, a number of common themes can be distinguished in both. These include courtship, marriage, emotional conflicts, education, and striving for female identity, social role, and status. The characterization of the female protagonists in the two novels is aligned with society’s expectations, and the novelists’ protest against male domination and sexual discrimination seem, at best, cautious and conservative. Both of the novels portray the anxieties resulting from the protagonists’ individual position in relation to others and their status as “the second sex.” This shows that these anxieties trouble women around the globe.


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