Presenter Information

Heather S. HiggsFollow

Content Category

Literary Criticism

Abstract/Description

Paradise Lost has been around since the seventeenth century, and yet there is still something readers cannot agree on: what is up with Eve? I propose that Eve’s role in Paradise Lost can be understood through the lens of third-wave feminism, the United States’ current feminist wave. Eve matches well with third-wave feminists in her independence and complexity of character, but what distinguishes her from feminists today is more potent in understanding her role in Paradise Lost. When faced with decisions of the self, Eve ultimately looks outward to Adam and her future posterity and chooses selflessly, exercising restraint where a third-wave feminist would perhaps practice indulgence. This repression of her desires for the good of those around her leads her to become both the epic’s and mankind's hero.

Origin of Submission

as part of a class

Faculty Involvement

Dr. Bruce Wilson Young

Location

4116 JFSB

Start Date

18-3-2016 1:00 PM

End Date

18-3-2016 2:00 PM

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Mar 18th, 1:00 PM Mar 18th, 2:00 PM

Eve's Feminist Wave

4116 JFSB

Paradise Lost has been around since the seventeenth century, and yet there is still something readers cannot agree on: what is up with Eve? I propose that Eve’s role in Paradise Lost can be understood through the lens of third-wave feminism, the United States’ current feminist wave. Eve matches well with third-wave feminists in her independence and complexity of character, but what distinguishes her from feminists today is more potent in understanding her role in Paradise Lost. When faced with decisions of the self, Eve ultimately looks outward to Adam and her future posterity and chooses selflessly, exercising restraint where a third-wave feminist would perhaps practice indulgence. This repression of her desires for the good of those around her leads her to become both the epic’s and mankind's hero.