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Browsing by Author "Bouzoubaa Teerineva, Saara"

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  • Bouzoubaa Teerineva, Saara (2023)
    This thesis argues for an ethical reading of Miriam Toews’ Women Talking. Based on real-life events that happened in the Mennonite colony of Manitoba in Bolivia between 2005 and 2009, the novel is a response to those acts of violence. This thesis investigates the diversity of processes in the narrative that present strategies of oppression. The narrative reveals that those who do not fit the normative category of a man who acts according to the masculine hegemony are deprived of privileges and lower in the hierarchy. The goal is to show that revealing the processes of oppression contributes significantly to the ethical reading of the novel. Through close reading, I analyze three ethical dilemmas I have discerned from the narrative. I analyze the dilemmas, characters and events through an interdisciplinary theoretical framework that consists of an ecofeminist perspective to gender violence, the Mennonite Christian principles, and James Phelan’s narrative ethics (2013). I argue that the presentation of the ethical dilemmas in the narrative contributes to the reader’s ethical reflection that is necessary for ethical reading. The main result of this thesis is that both readers and authors have ethical responsibilities in relation to the text. In addition to creating believable characters, relationships, and events, it is part of the ethical responsibilities of the author and reader not to reproduce readings that are not consciously ethical. Moreover, it is part of the ethical reading to recognize that as a literary work of fiction, Women Talking is not fully independent from the world and from the real-life events to which it is a reaction.