StudentShare solutions
Triangle menu

Marilyn Robinsons Housekeeping - Book Report/Review Example

Not dowloaded yet

Extract of sample
Marilyn Robinsons Housekeeping

Robinson's first words are: "my name is Ruth. I grew up with my younger sister, Lucille, under the care of my grandmother, Mrs. Sylvia Foster, and when she died, of her sisters-in-law, Misses Lily and Nona Foster, and when they fled, of her daughter, Mrs. Sylvia Fisher" (Robinson, p. 3). The choice of introductory sentence is extremely telling as, apart from establishing this work as a female-centric narrative, it draws up a picture of a female-dominated world. Its blatant and explicit exclusion of reference to any males may be interpreted as a direct challenge to dominant patriarchal systems. Indeed, it is even reminiscent of the exclusively-male genealogies outlined in the Bible, starting with the Book of Genesis. Within the context of the stated, the opening line may be interpreted as the narrative's own genesis, the genesis of a matriarchal, as opposed to patriarchal, world.
Patriarchy versus matriarchy is carried through in the novel's expression of the themes of grief and loss. The protagonist, Ruth, has evidently lost both mother and father but the loss of the father and his absence is passed over as inconsequential, while the loss of the mother gives the novel its impetus. Ruth is aware of the extent to which her mother's loss has affected her and refers to the resultant grief as a "predatory thing," a feeling which gnaws at her and deprives her of her very sense of self (p. 198). Her grandmother's death, her "drowning in air" (p. 164) is recalled and with it her mother's physical drowning; her abandonment by Misses Lily and Nona are told; and her sister's departure/abandonment, cuts through her very soul like a knife but, never is her father's death/abandonment/loss touched upon. This clearly indicates that the world of this novel is a solidly matriarchal one in which males are, if granted any place at all, marginalized, semi-invisible and inconsequential beings.
Just as a woman's abandonment thrusts her into a dream world from which she finds refuge from her grief-stricken reality, a woman's intervention puts her on the path to self-discovery and reclamation of identity. Following Lucille's departure, her aunt Sylvia takes her across the lake to the wilderness and leaves her to her own self-reflections. Isolation in nature's solitude, force Ruth to engage in self-reflection, leading to an eventual realization of self-hood and identity. It is interesting to note that water symbolizes both the womb and abandonment, just as it does birth. The lake/water took her mother away but the lake, with her aunt's help, leads to the birth of her own self.
In sum, the selection of the theme of the feminist reworking of the patriarchal world as the dominant one in this narrative is appropriate. The narrative does not just unfold within a female-centric world but draws its impetus from the protagonist's relationship with the women in her life. This theme is not only central to the novel but contains within it the themes of human relationships, the dream world, self-identity and grief.


Virginia Woolf's deeply moving and somewhat disturbing Mrs Dalloway is a subtle study in the fine line between sanity and insanity. Unfolding from within the depths of Mrs. Dalloway's very self, it calls into question many of society's prevailing assumptions and values. The social system, with its dictates on male-female/female-female relationships and its rules pertaining, not just to proper ...Show more

Summary

Marilyn Robinson's Housekeeping is a rich narrative where several themes dynamically interact with and compliment one another. The theme of loss is difficult, even impossible to separate from that of the mercurial, transitory nature of the physical world, just as is the theme of self-identity from the feminist revision of the patriarchal world…
Author : brook59
Marilyn Robinsons Housekeeping essay example
Read Text Preview
Save Your Time for More Important Things
Let us write or edit the book report/review on your topic
"Marilyn Robinsons Housekeeping"
with a personal 20% discount.
Grab the best paper

Related Essays

Marilyn Monroe's Career
She was one of the most famous women in the world. But she was always terribly unhappy. Her life as a movie star offered her no respite or relief from the inner demons that challenged her. Her unfortunate story ended in tragedy, as she found dead one day in California.
5 pages (1250 words) Book Report/Review
Pride and Prejudice and Jane Austen
This is evidenced in Chapter One of the novel "It is truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife ". Interestingly, this is the gossip of the neighborhood and as a result, Bingly is now not a new neighbor, but an object to be won by the local ladies.
3 pages (750 words) Book Report/Review
Book Report, Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
After that, every day Ethan used to give the narrator a lift to and from the railway station. But one winter evening on the way home they found themselves in a hard storm. The weather was growing so bad that Ethan offered the narrator to stay at his farm for the night.
2 pages (500 words) Book Report/Review
The influence of Jewett upon Morrison
Toni Morrison has established herself as a powerful woman through poignant stories that portray the African-Americans of the twentieth century. An author as such can be assumed to have been victim of the situations that she creates in her own books. The influences her environment has had on her can be seen depicted in her work.
7 pages (2000 words) Book Report/Review
Cathers Paul and Wrights Dave
Both these stories can be called pieces of psychological fiction as both of them involve a sojourn into the psyche of the main characters - Paul who thought he was not "destined always to shiver in the black night outside, looking up at it" and Dave, who silently mused, "Shucks, a man oughta hava little gun aftah he done worked hard all day".
5 pages (1250 words) Book Report/Review
Romantic Poems Book Report/Review
As Wordsworth and Robinson were producing poetry celebrating nature, the great British cities such as London and Manchester were growing to massive proportions. The two views of the city as produced by these poets are full of ambivalence: they admire the energy and diversity of the city, and yet also are slightly afraid of the changes it is producing.
4 pages (1000 words) Book Report/Review
Reaction
rama is thought to symbolize feminism at a time when society was still of the mind that males were the more superior gender when it comes to matters beyond sewing and doing household chores. This paper will attempt to explain why hiding the truth from the male protagonists was
3 pages (750 words) Book Report/Review
Qq
This leads to a villainy role of women in the national accounts of the developed countries as well as the third world countries. Waring writes a feminist view arguing about the environmental policies and the contributions of
5 pages (1250 words) Book Report/Review
Hotel management front office operations questions
e it helps them verify or confirm the payment methods being used; they are important to housekeeping because it notifies them of the need to clean up the room and to prepare it for the next guests; and they are important to marketing functions because it creates the guest
2 pages (500 words) Book Report/Review
Response
e later wedding trip suites where the accentuation was on making attractive situations, had these prior renditions deliberately reproduced rural lodging. They were little Levittowns with separated cabins with carports, picture windows, yards, living rooms, chimneys, and the most
1 pages (250 words) Book Report/Review
Get a custom paper written
by a pro under your requirements!
Win a special DISCOUNT!
Put in your e-mail and click the button with your lucky finger
Your email
YOUR PRIZE:
Apply my DISCOUNT
Comments (0)
Rate this paper:
Thank you! Your comment has been sent and will be posted after moderation