Study Guide Questions for Images of Women:
Rich, Katz Stoker, and Fetterly
How do these three essays exhibit the basic characteristics of Images of Women
o Rich brings the personal in; she discusses things from her own life
o Rejection of false neutrality of masculine and formalism (K-S/ Fett)
o Acceptance of emotion…especially anger
What do these three essays have in common? How are they different from the
readings by DeBeauvoir, Ellmann, and Millett?
As you read these articles can you begin to list some of the critical cruxes of early
feminist lit crit: what are the issues about which fem critics are arguing? What do
they DISAGREE about?
o Anger—is it okay or counter-productive
o Is sex the primary form of Othering; does it take priority over racial and
other forms of discrimination
RICH (1971) autobiographical/ about writing poetry – EXPRESSIVE (writer)
WAWA Rich: Is she most concerned with mimetic issues? What new problems and
issues does she introduce?
o Talks about the 50’s—the suburbs etc. (expanding on Betty Friedan’s
awareness at women’s disillusionment with the 50’s family ideals)
o Awareness of her own privilege in comparison with other women
o Importance of language/ naming in shaping or view of ourselves and
o Strategies for distancing emotion
Can you divide the Rich essays into parts? What do the different parts do?
How does Rich read Woolf’s tone and attitude? Compare to Millett.
What is Rich’s attitude towards authority?
What are some of the crucial splits or conflicts Rich defines in women’s lives?
What is Rich’s attitude towards anger? How does it compare to Woolf and Millett?
KATZ-STOKER (1972) very political, about sociological perspective MIMETIC (world)
What kind of critical perspective (WAWA) is K-S attacking? Does this relate to
anything in Ellmann? What is it that these critics are leaving out?
What kind of critical perspective (WAWA) does she support?
How does K-S connect literary criticism to the Women’s Movement?
Why does K-S think that literary criticism is important?
What is the problem with a “pure” kind of criticism that ignores politics?
With what political orientation does she associate the New Criticism? (Brooks,
Warren, Ransom and Tate are all New Critics)
FETTERLEY 1978 (politics in the context of American lit) PRAGMATIC/RHETORICAL
Fetterley's essay is divided into three parts. What does each part do?
o Part I--
o Part II --
o Part III --
Why does Fetterely say that "literature is political"?
What keeps us from seeing the political nature of liteature?
What happens to women who read American literature, according to Fetterely?
What is the attitude towards women in the stories outlined by Fetterely? Have you read any
of these stories? How do you react to her interpretations?
What is the point of all the quotes in section II? What cetral ideas and issues do they share?
How do these ideas define Fem LitCrit?
Who does she quote from?? DO you recognize any of these people?
Why and how does Fettereley think literature can effect social change?