Locating resistance/resisting location : a feminist literary analysis of supernatural women in contemporary fantastic fiction
In this thesis I examine the ways in which feminist and human geographies intersect with contemporary women-centred fantasy fiction. In particular, I consider space and place to be significant to female characters in their role as a physical presence as well as an intangible location. Thus I explore the forest, the body and the mind as territories occupied by the supernatural women. These various spatial themes, I suggest, outline distinctive locations for supernatural female characters and enable them to engage in a position of resistance from patriarchal ideologies. Through a spatial analysis of selected fiction, I reflect on challenges to notions that construct identity, gender and sexuality as well as conflict among women. I argue that the supernatural woman in fiction has been frozen in one-dimensional representation within traditional male-centred texts. This one-dimensionally, I suggest, hinges on the juxtaposition of the overly simplistic good/bad binary that has often illustrated female characters within fantasy fiction. As fantasy is a genre typically more concerned with worlds than characters, the women-centred fantasy text is unique in its exploration and pursuit of the literary character. Given the contemporary and interdisciplinary nature of this thesis, I have drawn upon filmic adaptations of texts at times to illustrate a further level of cultural awareness. The main emphasis is, however, on literary texts and, thus, reference to film is meant to supplement my textual analysis.