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Title: Theorising contemporary women's writing : a practice-based study
Author: Mellor, Julie Diane
ISNI:       0000 0001 3392 9981
Awarding Body: Sheffield Hallam University
Current Institution: Sheffield Hallam University
Date of Award: 2003
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The novel, 'Cork Dolls', focuses on the psychological struggle between two women from different cultural backgrounds. Rachel arrives in Sicily as an au pair for the wealthy Bruni family. Here she meets Susan, the Bruni's Filipino housekeeper. Susan has had to leave her daughter, Reetha, in the Philippines, in order to earn money abroad. Rachel, on the other hand, has recently had an abortion. Both of them have come to Italy to make a new life, yet both are forced to play a mothering role to Franco and Santino, the Bruni's children. The resulting power conflict between Rachel and Susan is played out against the backdrop of the Bruni's failing marriage. Rachel is increasingly drawn to Santino, the youngest son. However, her attempted abduction of him forces her to see that it is impossible to replace the child she has aborted. Even Rocco, the young man who attempts to start a relationship with her, is rebuffed as she gains a new understanding of herself. When Signor Bruni leaves the house early one morning, in search of his wife and her lover, an earthquake hits the area. The resulting confusion provides Susan with an ideal opportunity to steal the Signora's jewellery, and thus finance her return to her daughter. Meanwhile, Rachel is left alone with the children. Although her previous attempt at taking Santino has taught her that the children can never be hers, the novel ends with her having to make a final decision as to whether to take them or not.'Cork Dolls' focuses on women's experience. It draws attention to the claustrophobic nature of the domestic setting, and how this can magnify petty aggressions. It also examines ideas about women as mothers in patriarchal society, and looks at how, by focusing on female experience, accepted ideas about women's roles might be challenged.
Supervisor: Lebihan, Jill Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Literature