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The crone: emerging voice in a feminine symbolic discourse Masland, Lynne S. 1994

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THE CRONE: EMERGING VOICE IN A FEMININE SYMBOLIC DISCOURSE LYNNE S. MASLAND B.A., University of California, Riverside, 1970 M.A., University of California, Riverside, 1971  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTL\L FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Program in Comparative Literature)  We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard  THE UNJ^E^ffrOFBRtTISH COLUMBIA October, 1994 ©Lynne S. Masland, 1994  In presenting this  thesis  in  degree at the University of  partial fulfilment  of  the  requirements  for an advanced  British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it  freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying  of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my  department  or  by  his  or  her  representatives.  It  is  understood  that  copying  or  publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission.  (Signature)  of( Jrw^baxntiJS-^ The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada  Date  DE.6 (2/88)  fdkxdJruA-^  11  ABSTRACT  Emerging  Voice  in  The Crone: a Feminine  Symbolic  Discourse  This dissertation explores portrayals of old women in drawn  predominantly  folklore,  from  psychological  French  and feminist  and  American  theories  literature,  samples using  to examine, compare  myth, and  contrast depictions of this figure through close textual analysis. I have examined treatments of old women in literary texts by Boethius, Jean de Meung, and Perrault as well as those in texts by women writers, including Sand, Colette, de Beauvoir, Jewett, Gather, Porter,  Wharton,  Flagg, Meigs and Silko. By analyzing the portrayal of old women's roles in a variety of works written in different  periods in these two cultures,  I hope to illuminate, to some small degree, ways in which the Old Woman figure is emerging as a powerful  dimension of woman's voice at  a time when the growing number of elderly people coincides with women's increasing access to "voice." An examination of images of the Old Woman/Crone  may reveal  the articulation  of an  symbolic discourse that permits women's voices to be  alternative "heard."  The typical mythological and literary roles for old women may be loosely categorized  as: deity, hag, elder, matriarch, grandmother  or  (abject) old woman. The texts selected provide good examples of the various "crone" roles, from deity to abject old woman, as well as the opportunity  to consider  women-centered  literary  Theory, whether  this figure's  treatment  works at various psychological  in both patriarchal  periods  or feminist,  of  and  time.  is treated textually  and  considered to have a "point of view" which must be determined when applying theory to texts. My discussion of old women in contemporary  Ill  French  literature  revolves  around  the  disagreement  between  Kristeva,  Cixous or Irigaray, who deploy Freudian or Lacanian concepts in the search for an understanding of the feminine, and de Beauvoir. Foucault and the American psychologist, Carol Gilligan,  Michel  provide  alternative theories. Analysis of the folktale, "Little Red Riding Hood," runs as a leitmotiv throughout — from its early French folk origins to a "new Age" version circulated recently on an Internet bulletin board -since this cautionary tale of the girl, the wolf, and the grandmother has lent itself feminist,  to creative and  other  I conclude  interpretation  from  Freudian, Jungian,  Lacanian,  perspectives.  that  demographic  contributing to a contemporary  factors  and  multiculturalism  are  "emergence," in Foucault's sense, of the  voices and images of older women. This current "emergence" may contribute to an alternative  view  one  experience  which  values  women's  discourse that is different  from  of conventional and  literature  demonstrates  a  and  history,  feminine  that of the patriarchal symbolic order.  IV  TABLE OF CONTENTS Abstract Table of Contents List of Figures Acknowledgements  ii iv vi vii  Introduction  1 2 3 6  Methodology Selection of Texts Silencing and Emergence Part  I. The  Crone's  Condemnation  by  "The Law  of the  Father". 10  Chapter  1. Origin of the Crone: The Crone As Origin The Cultural Importance of Deity Myths The Earth Mother The Queen of Heaven and Earth Sky Gods and the Patriarchal Order The Crone  11 11 14 15 21 28  Chapter  2. The Father's "Nom": The Crone in Patriarchal Discourse The Public and Private Spheres Mediator and Guide: The Crone as Sapientia Beyond Desire: The Loathsome Crone Fairy-tale Grandmothers The Death-Bringing Crone  36 36 38 44 52 57  Chapter  3. The Father's "Non": Negation and Denial of the Crone in Psychological Discourse The Phallocentric Bias of Psychological Discourse The Freudian Crone: The Id and 1 Oedipus' Emerging Masculine Ego The Imaginary Mother's "Lack of Lack" Grandma and the Wolf: Usurpation of the Creative Feminine The Crone's Abjection: The Horrible Power The Well-Wrought Trap  63 63 64 68 73 78 81 87  Part  II.  The  Crone's  Chapter 4.  Chapter  Part  III.  Chapter  Chapter  Chapter  Survival  in  Texts  by  Women  93  Nineteenth-Century Grandmatriarchy: The Grandmother's Role in Maternal Discourse Maternal Discourse An Ideology of Home and Hearth The Idealization of Generativity: George Sand's La Petite Fadette The Spiritualization of Generativity: Sarah Orne Jewett's Country of the Pointed Firs Transcendence Through Generativity  94 95 96 102 115 126  5. The Displaced Grandmother and the Daughter's Seduction 132 The Daughters' Struggle for Access to the "Word" 135 The Displaced Grandmother: Gather's "Old Mrs. Harris" 142 Death of the Matriarch: Porter's "Granny WeatheraH"...148 Aging Beauties and Mother/Daughter Rivalries 153 Modern Jocastas: Gather and Wharton 155 Persephone's Journey to the Underworld 163  The  Crone's  Revival  in  Contemporary  Texts  169  6. The Reconstruction of Grandmother's Voice Irigaray's and Cixous's Feminine Imaginary Carol Gilligan's "Different Voice" Foucault and the Philosophies of Emergence and Difference 7. The Grandmother's "Oui": An Emerging in a Discourse of Multiplicity The Crone in an Emerging Symbolic Discourse The Sociological Case for the Emerging Crone The Grassroots Crone Contemporary Cinematic Crones  184  Voice  8. The Crone's "Ouie": Grandmother's Stories Grandmother's Stories: A Community of Belonging Old Women's Stories and the Power of Healing Breaking the Mold  Bibliography  170 172 179  193 193 197 199 201 216 218 220 227 234  VI  LIST OF FIGURES  Figure  1. Typology of the Crone  Figure 2. Texts Arranged in a Continuum of Focus From Patristic to Matristic Figure 3. A Comparison of Theories of Women's Language and Foucault's "Genealogie"  2A  2B  171A  Vll  Acknowledgments To my mother, "Little Camilla," and my grandmother, Camilla Shaw Puleston, both Southern ladies in the finest sense— from "the fifth Camilla." I would first like to express my gratitude to the University of British Columbia for the fellowship that made possible my doctoral work and for the courtesy that I enjoyed from both faculty and staff. In particular I would like to thank Dr. Lorraine Weir for getting me started with a plan of action that unfolded almost as she said it would and Dr. EvaMarie Kroller, chair of the Comparative Literature Program, whose guidance, kindness, unfailing encouragement, and book review assignments were indispensable. The faculty on my supervising committee have contributed thoughtful suggestions as my work progressed. Dr. Michael Zeitlin, who also served on my oral committee, revived and clarified my interest in Southern literature. Discussions, often by e-mail, with Dr. Sherrill Grace helped immeasurably to pull together the many strands of this work. I owe a special debt of appreciation to Dr. Valerie Raoul, chair of both the French Department and my committee, for her graduate seminar on the French feminists and patient, thoughtful guidance throughout this project. Several of my friends and colleagues at Western Washington University also deserve recognition. Vice President Al Froderberg, former President Ken Mortimer, and President Karen Morse and Provost Larry De Lorme for their support and good wishes; Jo Collinge, and Shirley McKeever for their endurance, good cheer and faith; and Carmen Werder and Barbara Sylvester, for regular interesting thesis discussions and problem-solving sessions at the Colophon Cafe. To Carole Wiedmeyer, I extend a special thanks for finding a new version of "Little Red Riding Hood" on the Internet and supplying me with "Grandma" and "Aunt Ada" stories. I am also thankful to my daughters, Mary Conklin Masland and Molly Allison Masland, for their encouragement and enthusiasm, and to my friend and colleague, Jean Rahn, who offered to take me to dinner to celebrate. Most of all, I am grateful to Steve Mayo for his unfailing affection.  INTRODUCTION Irigaray thinks that the only way in which the status of women could be altered fundamentally is by the creation of a powerful female symbolic to represent the other term of sexual difference. What is at stake is the ethical, ontological and social status of women. Margaret Whitford Luce Irigaray: Philosophy in the Feminine (22)  Nearly two decades ago, I became interested in the archetype of the "wise old woman," a figure which parallels the "wise old man" archetype and, in Jungian thought, functions as a "guide" to certain aspects of the "self." A fascinating, and potential  mysterious  discoveries,  I  figure,  resonant  with hidden  meanings  thought.  That long-ago interest has sparked this study and, although my point of view is no longer confined to a Jungian perspective, I have found the Crone or old woman archetype, as defined  through discursivity,  more  ancient and more varied than I had supposed. The Old Woman or mythological  Crone, often  denigrated  as fearsome  and repulsive  in  Western culture and its fictions, has also played a positive, though frequently  ambiguous, role in literary discourse. In this study I will  consider portrayals of old women in samples from literature, using myth, folklore, psychological  French and American  and feminist  theories  examine, compare and contrast depictions of this figure through  to  close  textual analysis. By analyzing the Old Woman figure in a variety of works written in different periods in these two cultures, I hope to illuminate, to some small degree, ways in which the Old Woman figure is emerging as a powerful  dimension of woman's voice at a time when the growing  number of elderly people coincides with women's increasing access to  "voice." An examination of the Crone's images may reveal the articulation of an alternative symbolic discourse that permits woman's voice to be "heard." In developing this study, I have brought to bear not only the research which I have undertaken as part of my doctoral studies at the University of British Columbia and those interests which I had many years ago while studying for a master's degree in comparative  literature  at the University of California at Riverside, but also the research, study, discussion and writing I have done in the intervening years in mythological,  archetypal, and  women. Additionally,  folklore  studies, especially  pertaining  many years spent as a professional  journalist  to and  public relations executive have taught me, as no study could, the power of images, as well as the means by which they are constructed and "emerge."  Methodology Typical mythological and literary roles for the old woman may be loosely categorized  as: deity, hag, elder, matriarch, grandmother  or  (abject) old woman (see figure 1). I have used this typology both in selecting texts to be used and in analyzing the literary examples.i Since the images of the old woman, whether grandmother examined  or curse-bringing  the  perspectives  "crone" character  ranging  patristic pole)  hag, are discursively from  a variety of  along a continuum  to matrifocal  from  formed,  I have  also  interpretative  Biblical  Goddess mythology  pole). Both the literary texts examined  benevolent  (the  extreme  (the extreme  and the various  matristic  interpretive  theories used fall along this continuum (see figure 2). Thus theory, whether Freudian or feminist,  is treated textually and considered  to have  Figure 1. — Typology of the Crone Role  Def i ni t ion  Deity  Tri-partite Goddess: Crone  Hag  Elder  Matriarcb  Grandmother  Old  Woman  TranscenPower dent Quality Origin and End Omnipotent of Life Reabsorplion of life through death (preparation for rebirth)  Wiich Crazed Ugly  Magical powers: Inspires communication with demons and spirits, flying. Positive Aspect: spells, curses. Fairy godmother s h a p e - s h i f t e r  Guide Wise Woman  Leader Reformer Spokeswoman Counselor  fear  Wisdom  Family leader Fulfills both Independence Head of generativity and Control of self and others. extended family provider roles either for positive or negative ends  Has grandchildren  Generativity Tradition  Connectivity Empathy Nurture Generativity  A bj e c I  Powerless Abjection Inspires horror, No control over revulsion stif or others Incontinent  Symbols & A ttributes Cauldron Chaos Snakes Birds (esp. vultures, crows) Blood; Tree; Flail Healer, poisoner through herbals and potions. Evil curses Symbols:cauldron, cat, broomstick  A g e / S e a s on  S e x u a 1 i ty  Waning moon Autumn  Sexual  Older middle age Late Fall All Hallows Eve  Sexual, esp. with Satan Bawdy Panderer or procuress  Middle to old Understanding Channeled anger a g e . Postimpels reform reproductive  Often, but not always, asexual  Survival Becomes matriarch in response to life crisis: widowed. divorced, abandoned  Middle to old age Usually postreproductive  Sexual or asexual Androgenous characteristics  Symbols: kitchen, visits. food - baking. cooking. recipes. Quilts Rocking-chair  Middle to old age Usually postreproductive "Golden Years"  Feminine Sexual or asexual  Symbols: nursing home "bag lady"  Winter Old age Close to death  The body reduced to the feminiin; abjection of death  Typical Action or Role Represents Life-Dcath-Life cycle  Death or misfortune  Relation Life  to  Creates and destroys all things. Often portrayed as young/oldwomn  Magical connection to nature and supernatural. IsoIated;m3rginal.Totemic animal familiars, Renewal, often Apprehends through radical comprehensive break with past connectivity to patterns/roles nature. Active in politics, social welfare, environmental issues Controls both Controls all wealth and aspects of her generativity. life and influFulfills males ences others. and female roles Others are, or have been, dependent on her Defines and may Nurtures all lead the life. May be "domestic" or midwife or "women's" healer. May be sphere spiritual. sacrificial. adventuresome or domestic. Loss of control Lonely; isolated Infirm; Dependence Decay and Death demented A burden. Needs nurture; consumes resources.  Relation to New Life or Renewal Cosmic womb  Relation to Life-DeathLife Cycle Divine Womb Origin and End and life  Midwife Bridge between divine and As witch, may destroy new life human  Negative Aspects No one escapes the Cronc-asDeath Atropos  Relation to Borders and Boundaries Boundless The Void  Non-nurturing Dangerous Supernaturally powerful and malevolent  Outside the law. Overflows prescribed boundaries. Associated with lunacy, madness  Changes boundaries to be more inclusive or beneficial to disenfranchized, including women Expands personal boundaries by combining masculine and feminine roles  Midwife to reform or renewal movements at individual or collective level.  Bridge between past and future; sees both ways  Busybody  Experiences death & rebirth in her life history. Survivor. Controls her own death.  Generativity, often expressed as legacy or inheritance  "Phallic mother" Enabling Controlling Castrating  Nurtures transgenerational life.  Bridges generations through roots. memory. tradition; generational continuity  Irrelevant Mindless repetition of out-worn pa tterns  Remains within "women's sphere" but may universalize matristic and generative values  Sacrifice Death Releases resources for new life.  Death  Iter abjection in.spires horror and pity  Personal boundaries and rights contract; may disappear altogether  26  Figure  2.  — Texts Arranged in a Continuum of Focus Patristic to Matristic  From  Fa t r i s t i c •Old Testament •Sophocles: Oedipus Rex •Jean de Meung: Roman de la Rose •Sigmund Freud: Introductory Lectures on •Jacques Lacan: Ecrits •Boethius: De consolatione philosophies •Simone de Beauvoir: Le Deuxieme Sexe; La •Edith Wharton: A Mother's Recompense •Carl Jung: Man and His Symbols •"Little Red Riding Hood" •Joseph Campbell: The Masks of God  Psychoanalysis  Vieillesse  (face both ways)  •Katherine Ann Porter: "The Jilting of Granny Weatherall" •Willa Gather: "An Aging Beauty" and "Old Mrs. Harris" •Leslie Marmon Silko: Storyteller •Colette: Che'ri and La Fin de Che'ri •Christine de Pisan: La Cite' des dames •Mary Meigs: A Company of Strangers •Fanny Flagg: Green Fried Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe •George Sand: La Petite Fadette •Sarah Orne Jewett: Country of the Pointed Firs •Paula Gunn Allen: Spider Woman's Granddaughters;The Sacred iMatristic  Hoop  a "point of view" which must be considered when applying theory to texts. Analysis of the folktale "Little Red Riding Hood" runs as a leitmotiv throughout — from its early French folk origins to a "New Age" version circulated recently on an Internet electronic bulletin board — since this cautionary tale of the girl, the wolf, and the grandmother has lent itself to creative other  interpretation  perspectives.  Selection  of  from  The  Freudian,  literary  Jungian,  texts  Lacanian,  are considered  feminist,  and  chronologically.  Texts  The texts selected provide good examples of the various "crone" roles, from deity to old woman, as well as the opportunity to consider this figure's  treatment  in  both  patriarchal  and  women-centered  literary  works at various periods of time. While making no claims to be allinclusive, the selections are indicative of typical literary treatments of this  figure. The use of French and American texts offers rich possibilities for  cultural  comparisons  and  contrasts.  From  the  twelfth-century  emergence  of "courtly love" and the beginning of "La Querelle des femmes" to the present  day,  French  feminist  movements  "se distinguaient  des  autres  feminismes et ... ils refletaient la situation, les aspirations et les frustrations  de la communaute  nationale,  telles  qu'elles  se  perpetuaient  de siecle en siecle" (Sarde, 15). Among the unique characteristics have marked the discursive formation through the centuries are "Vamour  of  "the feminine"  courtois,"  women's practice of birth control, "la grande and valorization of "difference"  in  which  in France  the tradition of the salons, venalite,"  contemporary  the "love triangle,"  feminist  movements  (16). French intellectual society within the salon tradition has tended to be a "societe  mixte,"  in which men and women engage in debate and  4 "I'amour."  In French works, the ancient Crone aspects of the mother  goddess which are associated with death have not been forgotten,  and  her aging body often becomes the symbol for all that lack of desirability and proximity to death entails. Discussion of these themes is found in Le Roman de la Rose, the two novels by Colette which I will examine, and Simone de Beauvoir's treatment of the aging woman. My discussion of old women in contemporary French literature will revolve  around  the  debate  represented  by  the  disagreement  between  Kristeva, Cixous or Irigaray, who deploy Freudian or Lacanian concepts in their search for an understanding of the feminine, and de Beauvoir. Molded  herself  by existentialism,  de Beauvoir  remarks about  Irigaray:  I've found very interesting things in Irigaray, but I find her too ready to adopt the Freudian notion of the inferiority of women ... Although I admire Freud on a great many points, I find that in the case of women, as he said himself, there's a dark continent; he understood nothing of what women want. Anyone who wants to work on women has to break completely with Freud ... But all of them, even Irigaray, they've always begun with Freud's postulates ... Freud puts woman in an inferior position, which really astonishes me on the part of the feminists. (Wenzel 12) Whether influenced  by Freud, Sartre, Lacan or Derrida, French  feminists  have tended to formulate their theories and analysis of the position of women in response or opposition to philosophical, psychological  or  existentialist discourse, all of which privilege the male. In American texts by women the fictional figure of the grandmother,  matriarch,  yearning for community is characteristic  of  both  or  elder  woman  and connection,  frequently  symbolizes  a  wisdom and power. This  late nineteenth-century  literature  of  desire  the  "women's sphere" and the current "revival" of interest in the elder woman as a transmitter of wisdom, ceremony and tradition or — more  simply — as a dignified "survivor." The texts by Jewett, Flagg, Silko and Meigs revolve in different  ways around this theme. Those by Gather,  Porter and Wharton focus on the rejection of the aging woman, whether because her "wisdom"  becomes irrelevant as social patterns change or  because she is non-conformist. reflect, and  in various  "daughter,"  ways,  The Gather, Porter and Wharton  the twentieth-century  as American  women  writers  tension  abandoned  sphere" to battle for acceptance in a male-dominated schools of literary A major  selections  between the  "mother"  "domestic  tradition and in  criticism.  point of divergence between American and French  feminists in the past two decades has centered on the acceptance by French women of the construction of ''difference,'' feminists,  while  American  such as Friedan, have tended to downplay theories based on  the "eternal feminine"  mystique, preferring  to struggle for legal and  social parity. While French theorists Luce Irigaray and Helene Gixous have proposed an ecriture subvert  the language  feminine  patterns  or a parler  and syntax  femme  in which  which would  patriarchal  privilege  and bias are encoded, the American psychologist Garol Gilligan has focused  on women's  tendency  to construct the "self" through  rather than through individuation.  Gilligan suggests a feminine  relationships "ethics of  care" that would include care of "self" (individuation and valuing of oneself) as well as others. The American fascination with models for the (re)formation of "self" is reflected in the wave of interest in new or diverse models for the "crone" figure. Thus, the comparison of French and American texts offers is both "different"  an opportunity to study how the "crone"  construct  and the "same" in the two cultures, a comparison which  not only explores the archetype and cultural differences illuminates the process of image construction Silencing  and  but also  itself.  "Emergence"  The cross-cultural  study of the crone archetype, which sheds some  light on the process and politics of image construction, also raises the question of "silencing" and "emergence." Why does an archetype — or its literary  representations  — vanish  "off-stage"?  Why do archetypal  re-emerge, perhaps cast in new roles? Although  these questions  figures are  difficult to answer with any precision, they hover at the edges of this study, linked with Foucault's theory of "emergence" and the revival of interest in the Crone archetype, at least in America. The silencing of the elderly in modern French and American societies, which both value perpetual de Beauvoir in La  Vieillesse  youth, was extensively  studied  by  (1970). She observes that, "Pour la society, la  vieillesse apparait comme une sorte de secret honteux dont il est indecent de parler ... L'Amerique a raye de son vocabulaire le mot on parle de cher  disparu,  mart.  de meme elle evite toute reference au grand  age. Dans la France d'aujourd'hui,"  she adds, "c'est aussi un sujet interdit"  (1). Indeed, the old woman's most common fate is the abject silence of invisibility as, mumbling incoherently, she is simply shuffled  off  the  literary stage because she is no longer a figure of interest. The audience does not care to hear her speak because they have no interest in what she might have to say; writers do not include her in their plots for the same reason. Because any image, including that of the Crone, is collectively created, it loses power and voice through  indifference  towards the topic on the part of audience and writers. At other times, there  may  be  either  spontaneous  interest  or  "propagandized  attention"  paid to the figure. For example, a large cohort in a particular age-bracket may focus social attention upon certain roles or types. Or an image may be "pumped up" to promote certain power interests or create a scapegoat. Several factors seem to be influencing what appears to be an "emergence" of the Crone's image after a long period of relative silence. The Crone figure, as a vestige of a pre-patriarchal ideology in which power was attributed to the feminine  or matriarchal line, provides a  challenge to the patriarchal symbolic order, since this figure  has  continued to co-exist alongside and within that order. Also, the peoples of colonial  and  indigenous  cultures,  which  together  with women  the voices of multiplicity, are challenging the hegemony of patriarchal constructs, including  comprise  Western  its symbolic order. In his essay  "Nietzsche, la genealogie, et I'histoire," Foucault suggests a view of history which is different  from  the univocality of patriarchal  historical  discourse:  a theory of "emergence" that invites the voices of "the other," including women, to be heard. Another factor is an increase in the elderly population, especially older women in good health who want new patterns, ideas and models for aging. Older writers are also interested in exploring the aging experience, thus forming, with their readers, a "marketplace" of interest. Taking all these factors into account, the current "emergence" of the Old Woman's voice, then, may contribute to an alternative  view  of  women's  experience  different  from  conventional and  history  demonstrates  that of the patriarchal  and literature, one which  a feminine  authority  which  values is  symbolic order. At the same time,  the univocality of "woman's voice" is, itself, a questionable premise. As women  from  diverse  cultural,  sociological  and  theoretical  backgrounds  gain access to "voice," it seems increasingly apparent that the genealogy  8 of plurality and multiplicity "wise  old  woman/crone"  will characterize new constructions of the  archetype.  NOTES ^ There is frequently some overlap in "Crone" roles or movement from one role to another. A grandmother may reveal herself to be a "hag" or "witch" for example. At the point of death, a matriarch may become an old woman. These movements and overlaps often provide much of a story's characterization and plot interest.  10  PART I. The  Crone's  Condemnation by of the F a t h e r "  "The  Law  Man enjoys the great advantage of having a god endorse the code he writes; and since man exercises a sovereign authority over women it is especially fortunate that this authority has been vested in him by the Supreme Being. For the Jews, Mohammedans and Christians among others, man is master by divine right; the fear of God will therefore repress any impulse towards revolt in the downtrodden female. Simone de Beauvoir The Second Sex Epigraph  to M. Stone, When God Was A Woman  11 CHAPTER 1 The Origin of the Crone: The Crone as  Origin  II y a un principe bon qui a cree I'ordre, la lumiere et rhomme et un principe mauvais qui a cree le chaos, les tenebres et la femme. Pythagore^ Epigraph to Le Deuxieme The  Cultural  Importance  of  Deity  Sexe  Myths  In ancient times, before the ascendancy of the "sky gods" and philosophies death,  which  promoted  "the birth-giving  ideas of  duality  and  Virgin and death-dealing  transcendence  over  Crone were part of  one another, death and life together were like the new seed within the withered fruit" Judeo-Christian cultures,  an  (Walker 29). In the pre-classical, classical  mythologies ancient  which  underlie  pre-patriarchal  the  major  earth-related  and  European  mother-goddess  figure appears to have been supplanted by a paternal "sky" god, who assumed her powers and became the sole creator of the world. Although support  archeological the  discoveries  wide-spread  existence  and analyses of ancient of  a pre-patriarchal  texts  Great  Mother  Goddess, not everyone agrees about the nature of the Goddess or the situation of women in a such a society. "L'histoire nous a montre que les hommes ont toujours  detenu tons les pouvoirs concrets,"  de Beauvoir maintains in Le Cyb^le  etaient  cruelles,  Deuxieme  capricieuses,  Sexe  (231). "Ishtar, Astarte,  luxurieuses:  elles  etaient  puissantes; source de mort autant que de vie, en enfantant hommes elles faisaient  d'eux  Simone  les  leurs esclaves," she asserts (276).  American scholars such as Campbell, Stone, Eisler, Gadon, Dexter, Orenstein, Weigle, et al  have proposed to various degrees a more  12 idealized,  peaceful,  productive  and  complementary  social  structure  under the aegis of the Goddess. I begin this study of the Crone with a look at the conflicting mythologies of Mother or Father as the supreme creator deity  because,  as Marta Weigle has noted, "ultimately ... it is probably culture's myth about the origin of human beings that has the most far-reaching  effect  on its views and treatment of women, for myth 'ratifies' existing social order" (viii). Creation myths or narratives, which attempt to explain the origins of the cosmos, humans, animals, plants and customs, also structure  and  validate  Anthropologists  our  contemporary  natural  such as Bronislaw Malinowski  and social  order.  contend that "myth as it  exists ... in its living primitive form, is not merely a story told but a reality lived" (1948:100). For Merlin Stone, "myths present ideas that guide perception, conditioning us to think and even perceive in a particular way ... Often they portray the actions of people who are rewarded or punished for their behavior, and we are encouraged  to  view these as examples to emulate or avoid" (4). Myths, then, have consequences  in everyday  reality  since they  ratify  and endorse  certain  social customs, beliefs, and actions. Thus, the "victory" of the sky gods over the mother goddess in her Virgin, Mother, and Crone phases has had consequences not only for the lives of women and men of the European cultures but also in the cultural literature. Indeed, "Mother" and structures  the dynamic tension,  "Father" cosmological  which  they  engender  which I will be discussing.  artifacts produced,  or struggle, between  myths and the  underlies  the  including the  great  socio-political  literature  and  ideologies  13 The historically and culturally constructed  images of the  ancient  Mother Goddess myth continue not only to influence literature but also to provide topics for heated contemporary debate  — especially  among  feminists. On the one hand, theorizing the restoration of the Mother Goddess as either a cosmological  or an earth-centered  principle  of  and  presents  the  possibility  value structures.  historically mechanisms  ensnared by  Conversely, women  which  the  in  different  paradigms,  mythologizing nurture  "eternal  and  feminine"  primary knowledge  the Mother  has  reproductivity.  The  argument  reduces  women's status and opportunities can be seen in Pope Paul VI's statement affirming  that "true women's liberation"  1972  does not lie in  "formalistic or materialistic equality with the other sex, but in the recognition of that specific thing in the feminine personality:  the  vocation of the woman to become a mother" (Daly 3). To see motherly nurturing, reproductive or caretaking roles as the essential core of women's identities and meaning, rather than as stages or choices, is to maintain  the fictions  spiritually  that keep women economically,  subordinated  to  patriarchal  hegemony.  physically  Because  Mother is assumed to have once been mythologically  the  and Great  revered as the  source and meaning of all life and life's activities, the patriarchy's submersion of women, reduced  to reproductive  elements in a social  and theological economy which operated to male benefit,  has incited  reexamination of the ancient archetype. However, it must be remembered  that  twentieth-century  these  current  cultural  interpretations  milieu.  belong  to the  late  14 The  Earth  Mother  The figure of the Crone, as the death-and-regeneration the Great  Mother,  extends  back  to the earliest  phase of  pre-Indo-European  roots of Western culture (Fraser, Gimbutas, Campbell, Dexter,  Gadon,  Orenstein, Walker). In Paleolithic times (c. 35,000 to 9,000 BCE), small icons or statues of female figures which emphasize the parts of the female  body associated  with reproduction  sites throughout Eurasia from  have been found  at  dwelling  the Pyrenees in Western Europe to  central Siberia (Gadon 6). These statues, sometimes painted with red ochre, represent a female stomach: perhaps a woman  with large breasts and hips and in late pregnancy,  perhaps  rounded  symbolizing  the  power of life, analogous to the earth as the source of all living things. It is hypothesized that these early peoples viewed the female as the source of fertility  and creation, through observing  the  natural  processes by which life is born and nourished through the  mother's  body. By analogy, the earth was imagined as the great womb from which life emerged and was nourished. Gadon notes that the word "ritual" comes from rtU, Sanskrit for menses, "month,"  underscoring  the ritual  importance  the Latin word for of  women's  monthly  bleeding, and adds that the "blood from the womb that nourished the unborn child was believed to have mana, magical power" (2). These early Paleolithic Age statues convey a generalized  female image  whose  power lay in its symbolic meaning as the embodiment of the source of life.2  The key symbols which to this day carry the underlying  meaning of the goddess religion were already articulated in Ice Age art and ritual: the Earth Mother; the cave that is her womb; the sacred triangle, representing the vulva, out of which new life emerges; the  15 blood-like red ochre paint; and the horned bovine (bison, bull, that  represents In  the  the  male  buffalo)  principle.  contemporary  matrifocal  re-presentation  of  early  pre-  history, the value of complementarity is privileged. In Ice Age art, male and female  symbols complement each other, and both sexes were  depicted as necessary for the renewal of life, according to Gadon (20). Based upon their analyses of pictorial evidence found in the caves of southwestern  France  and  the  nearby  Spanish  Pyrenees,^  Eisler, Gadon,  and Dexter posit that during the time of the great Paleolithic mammoth-hunting  culture, a sense of cosmic partnership, of  complementarity of the two elements of the universal life prevailed,  rather  than  domination  or  confrontation  the  force  between  opposing  principles. The  Queen  of  Heaven  and  Earth  The period of the great Paleolithic hunting culture, which stretched from  western Europe to northwest Africa,  ended as the ice  and glaciers retreated [c. 30,000 to 15,000 BCE]. In the Paleolithic culture, the earth had been imagined as sacred mother, source of all life. In Neolithic times, with the shift from hunting and gathering societies to agrarian cultures accomplished (Campbell shifted  1964:22),  from  elaborate  conceptualization  of  essentially by 8,000 BCE the  Mother/Crone  figure  the magical shamanism of the hunting cultures to the  priestly  rituals  of complex  planting  societies.  Agrarian  beliefs and values ordered the relationships of humans to the land and animals. The period agricultural monumental  techniques  marked  the development  and the arts of  architecture,  systematic  and dispersal  writing,  astronomical  of  mathematics, observation,  temple  16 worship and government. The bountiful  goddess Earth  — womb,  mother and nourisher of life, receiver of the dead for rebirth — evolved into a metaphysical  symbol: the "personification  of the power  of Space, Time, and Matter, within whose bounds all beings arise and die: the substance of their bodies, configurator of their lives and thoughts, and receiver of their dead" (Campbell 7). In The Goddesses  and Gods of Old Europe,  Gimbutas  demonstrates that the cultures of the Upper Paleolithic and  Neolithic  periods (from 26,000 to 3000 BCE) were matrifocal, worshipping a creatress Goddess as both the source of all life, fertility and creation and as the Goddess of Death and Regeneration, the symbol of all renewal  and  becoming.^  When agriculture replaced hunting,  women  came to control both the new food supply and the wealth it generated, according to authorities such as British archaeologist James  Mellaart.5  A "Mediterranean culture complex," based upon the myths and rites of the Great  Goddess  and her husband/son  consort,  stretched  from  northern India to western Europe (Campbell 64). The Goddess was seen as both benign (cow) and terrible (lioness). She was associated with  growth,  nourishment  and  death,  and  vegetation,  symbolized  by  the cosmic tree of life (and death). Her son and consort, whose totemic animal was the bull and whose sign was the trident, was linked to lunar changes in the vestige of a tradition of ritual regicide. Campbell sees the Near East as the center of this great system, with the period of diffusion  preceding the rise of the great Bronze Age Sumero-  Egyptian kingly states. The motive for its expansion and diffusion  was  commercial: the exploitation of raw materials and trade. In India, he notes, the late Neolithic trading style of civilization gradually  declined.  17 while a vigorous commercial expansion centered in Crete reached as far as the British Isles by 2000 to 1405 BCE (1948: 64-65). The late Neolithic period was characterized remarkably  homogeneous  many-titled  Mother  system  of  religious  by a widespread and  ideas, based  Goddess, who was regarded  as  upon  the  immortal,  changeless and omnipotent (Stone 23). The Queen of Heaven, Lady of the High Place, Celestial Ruler, Lady of the Universe, Sovereign of the Heavens, Lioness of the Sacred Assembly, Magna Mater all were titles referring  in different  places to the Great Goddess. She appeared  throughout the range of Neolithic culture, centered in the Near East, diffusing  eastward  Iran, Mesopotamia,  and  westward  and extending  to Anatolia, into India,  Syria, northern Crete,  Iraq,  pre-Homeric  Greece, southern Europe, and Ireland. She was known by many names: the Sumerian Inanna, Egyptian Isis, Hathor, Nut, Astarte, Istar, Anath, Aphrodite, Demeter, Minerva, Ceres, Dana or Bridgit in Ireland, Danu in India. The Roman Catholic Virgin Mary, Mother of God, though a faint, desexualized echo of the powerful  Goddess, is rooted in this tradition,  as evidenced by her parthenogenic pregnancy and her son who is born at winter solstice and dies young at the spring equinox. Early Christianity was born and evolved in a world in which the power of the Goddess was still to be reckoned with. Throughout the Roman Empire, Isis, Artemis, Cybele, and Demeter were widely  worshipped  and influenced development of the cult of the Virgin. While many the United  of  the Jungian-influenced  States, have tended  to portray  mythologists, the  especially  Goddess-worshipping  cultures in positive terms, Simone de Beauvoir and Julia Kristeva among  the French  feminists  have emphasized  the cruelty,  engulfing  in  18 qualities, and megalomania of the Great Mother. De Beauvoir sees in the Virgin Mary the subordination of the mother to the son, in her view necessary allow  to restrain the cruelty of the all-powerful  the development  deux antiques  of  an individualized  mother and  consciousness.^ Thus, "des  visages de la maternite, I'homme d'aujourd'hui  ne veut  connaitre que la face souriante" (de Beauvoir 276). De Beauvoir "a vu trop rapidement une defaite  feminine"  (309) in her analysis of  Mary's  kneeling before her son, according to Kristeva in "Stabat Mater," who, nonetheless, sees in that act the "stifling" of the Mother's lust for power. In the myth of virgin birth, Kristeva ponders the through  spiritualization  and the underlying  of  parthenogenic  mother-goddess  (315)..  of the Goddess-worshipping  cultures  — Minoan  Crete, Myceneae, Egypt, Sumer, early Babylonia, and other living in the Mediterranean culture complex — was a social based upon basis  of  "mother-right,"  kinship  and  Jewish  "Tout Dieu et jusqu'^ celui du Verbe,  sur une Deesse-mere" Characteristic  ancient  matriarchy with which Greek culture and  monotheism kept struggling: repose  the  re-emergence  groups structure  in which the mother's lineage was the  inheritance.  Women  customarily  transacted  business, bought and sold land, inherited property, could divorce and retain their property after  divorce or death of the husband, and acted  as scribes, priestesses, judges  and magistrates, warriors, heads of  clans, and rulers (Stone, Chapter 3). Ancient  motifs  and  symbols  connected  to the  pre-European  mythos of the Great Goddess in the European and Near East Neolithic include  the  life-and-death-bringing  goddesses of rebirth, regeneration,  bird-woman and prophecy.  and  snake-woman  The bird and  snake  19 motifs  of  transferred surviving  these  ancient  goddesses  to later Crone phase representations Neolithic  European  pre-Indo-European  goddesses,  tri-partite  which  acquired  Virgin-Matron-Crone  of  often  the  major  the characteristic  Indo-  (youth-maturity-old  age)  personifications. In the mythology of Old Europe, the bird and snake goddesses, goddesses of air and water, are the cosmic creators, bringing  moisture and rain, understood as mother's milk, the divine  food for all life. The vulture, symbol of the Egyptian Goddess Nekhebt, was referred  to as the compassionate purifier,  who cleaned the rotting  flesh of the dead from the bones, which were then retrieved burial.'^  for  Winged woman/bird hybrids such as the sphinx became  known in Classical times as harpies, furies and sirens. Throughout Goddess  the  was identified  Mediterranean  cultures,  with the qualities of  the  female  Snake  regeneration,  prophecy  and wisdom. Ishtar of Babylon, known as the Prophetess, carried a staff  around which coiled two snakes. The Babylonian Tiamat,  Mother  of All, was described in myth as a dragon or a serpent. On Crete, snakes appear in the worship of the female deity more than  anywhere  else in the Mediterranean  area.  Cretan  repeatedly artifacts  portray the Goddess or Her priestesses holding snakes in their hands or with them coiled about their bodies, revealing them to be an integral part of the religious rites (Stone 200). In Greece, the temple at Delphi, renowned in Classical times as the sacred place of the Delphic oracle, was built upon an earlier Mycenaean temple to the Serpent Goddess, who revealed divine insights and prophecies to the priestesses  who served  her. The priestess  who uttered  the  prophecies  sat upon a stool around which was coiled the snake. Python. In  20 perhaps a mythic reenactment of cultural change, Apollo slew this serpent to take over the temple. In later times, the deposed  Goddess  came to be represented as a serpent, dragon, or sea monster which the hero was required to slay as part of his testing and ordeal. The Cretan symbol of the double axe signifies the dual aspects of life and death, pointing, as Gampbell describes, on one hand toward the sacrifice, which is death; on the other, toward the tree, the Tree of Life. The Goddess, in whom death and life reside, was herself the mythic Garden of Paradise, "wherein Death and Life _ the Two Queens — were one" (Campbell 72). Other motifs and symbols connected with the Goddess include the circle, a symbol of the Goddess as the original, ultimate Creatress, as well as the wheel of birth, death and rebirth. She is also signified by the egg, the butterfly, caves, labyrinths, seeds, rivers, water, webs, vessels such as cauldrons, horns, and the cow. I have examined the attributes, names, symbols and culture of the Mother Goddess in some detail because these reappear as literary themes  throughout  the centuries.  Indeed,  her  shadowy  form  underlies  the assumptions of pastoral, whether by Virgil or Willa Gather. She is a staple of Romantic British and American poetry. She is  frequently  found in American Southern fiction and provides the nexus of values in "domestic literature" of the women's sphere. In contemporary  texts  by women, she can be discerned in her shamanic Crone form in the Hispanic tale, "La Loba"; as the regenerating Crone in Fried Tomatoes  at the Whistle  Maraini's Lettere La Petite Fadette Mother.  Stop  a Marina.  Cafe; or as the serpent goddess in Dacia Both Colette in Sido  and George Sand in  invoked images of the European agrarian  Julia Kristeva draws  Green  upon  images from  the  Great  Mother/Crone-as-  2 1 Origin tradition in her conceptualization of the chora  and the semiotic,  as, in fact, does Freud in his concept of the id and Jacques Lacan in his theory of the Symbolic and Imaginary orders. Kristeva's portrait of the Mother in "Stabat Mother" draws upon imagery of the sorrowing Virgin as well as the abjected Mother. In France, "La Querelle des femmes,"  a centuries-long  argument  between  ancient conflict Sky  Gods  Lacanians  between  and  dialogue whose most recent episode was the  the  and  the  "French  Goddess and God  Patriarchal  Feminists", reflects  mythologies.  Order  The religion and cosmology of the Great Mother were and  systematically  suppressed  by  the  patriarchal  warrior  supplanted  tribesmen  whose  invasions and incursions took place toward the close of the Bronze Age and, even more decisively, at the beginning of the Iron Age (c. 1250 BCE in the Levant) (Campbell  1964:7). Two geographic areas served as  source lands for the waves of insurgent warriors. Semites from Syro-Arabian mastered  deserts, nomads who herded  the camel,  and  whose  traditions  sheep, goats have  been  and  the  later  transmitted  through the Old and New Testaments, settled in the mid-East. From the plains of south Russia and the Pontic steppe, horse-riding, cattle herders invaded Europe. In her essay,  semi-nomadic  "Goddess-Oriented  Old  Europe," Gimbutas describes the rapidly developing urban culture of Old Europe, whose growth was "interrupted steadily  increasing  (Spretnak,  ed.  infiltration"  of  and eventually  the horse-riding  stopped by  "Kurgan"  ...  pastoralists  1982:29).  Only on islands such as Crete, Thera and Malta did the traditions and symbols of Old Europe survive for almost two more millennia. Elsewhere, the Bronze Age culture that followed was an amalgam of  22 the Old European substratum and the culture of the invading IndoEuropean  pastoralists,  whose  series of  repeated  incursions  were  concentrated into three major thrusts: c. 4400-4300 BCE; c. 3400-3200 BCE; and c. 3000-2900 BCE (30). The new people were herdsmen and shepherds  with  lesser culture,  a patrilinear,  patriarchal  they considered  attitude which. Stone concludes,  themselves  social  structure. Although  a superior people,  an  "seems to have been based  primarily  upon their ability to conquer the more culturally developed settlers" (64). A warrior people, the Indo-Europeans  of  earlier  were in continual  conflict not only with the people whose lands they invaded but among themselves as well. The pattern that surfaces in each area in which they make an appearance is that of a group of aggressive warriors, accompanied by a priestly caste of high standing, who initially invade, conquer and then rule the indigenous population were horsemen  (64). Their  and warriors. Their gods, associated  heroes  with the  wrath  and energy of fire, were storm and sky gods carrying weapons and riding horses or chariots. Their sky-oriented stars, planets, thunder, lightning, fire and  symbols included the  and weapons: arrows,  sun,  daggers,  spears. The  Indo-European  male deity  is usually  powerfully  with light, especially with the sun. These northern peoples  associated brought  with them the concept of duality, which postulates light as good and darkness as evil. The concept of binary paired opposites existing in a hierarchical order, or state of tension, one of which is "good," the other, "bad," replaced the earlier feminine intuition of the Oneness of being, in which all things have their birth within the Earth's womb.  23 The Indo-European  pattern of conquest is reflected  in  myths  which exhibit motifs suggesting a consistent policy of replacing the old Goddess with new Indo-European indicate  the  importance  gods. Such consistency  the invaders  placed  upon  could  religious  mythology  as a controlling tactic to usurp, appropriate, and concentrate  economic  and political power in their hands — a tactic which re-emerges periodically in subsequent political take-overs. That a caste of " p h i l o s o p h e r - k i n g s " who occupied  were  myth-shapers  and  rule-makers  the highest positions of power in Indo-European  underscores  this  point.  In what Campbell terms the "priestly device of defamation" female  society  (1964:80),  the  Indo-Europeans  Mother deities as monster  mythological  characterized  the  ancient  serpents or dragons, associated  darkness and evil, meanwhile elevating  their own hero-gods  with  to  domination over the universe. Myths of battles between the new male heroic god and the old goddess, as serpent or dragon, record the overrunning  of the ancient Goddess culture: the battle between  Indra,  Lord of the Mountains, and the Goddess Danu in India; Marduk's slaying  of  monstrous  his  great-great-great  grandmother  Tiamat,  portrayed  serpent, in Babylon; struggles between Zeus and  as a  the  serpent Typhon (son of the Goddess Gaia) or Apollo and the Python (also a son of Gaia) in Greece; and the conquest of the Leviathan (a representation  of the ancient serpent goddess Lot) by the Hebrew  Yahweh, recorded in the Old Testament. In each case, the myth suggests the demonizing of the ancient Mother Goddess in order to legitimate power.  the conquerors' appropriation  of  economic and  political  god  24 In these myths, matricide becomes the means to power, as the hero establishes his right to kingship by slaying the ancient  Mother  Goddess deity — a reversal of the earlier pattern in which the "year king" ruled as the chosen consort of the Goddess. Patrilineal replaces  mother-right.  By slaying  Tiamat,  the Babylonian  descent  Marduk  claims kingship and announces the institution of a despotic political order, the future model for kings and tyrants; But O Lord of the destiny of the great gods, if I am to be your avenger, to slay Tiamat and keep you alive, convene the assembly and proclaim my lot supreme, namely, that not you but I shall henceforth fix the destinies of the gods by utterances and that whatever I create shall remain without change. (Campbell 1964:81) Royal marriage to a close female relative — a sister, step-mother, or mother — accorded power as consort to the queen for the male in matrilineal societies, although the sons of such a union could not inherit the throne. According to Sir James G. Frazer, the custom of brother and sister [or mother and son] marriage in royal houses signals a "transition from female to male descent of the crown" (Frazer 4:194). In his research on the wide-spread myths of the "dying god," he suggests that the legend of Laius, king of Thebes, who exposed his infant son, Oedipus, with the expectation that the son would die, is a "reminiscence" of a time when royal fathers plotted to kill sons who might overthrow father  them by force.  and occupied  his father's  Oedipus, who afterwards throne, married  killed  the widowed  his queen,  his mother, in order to secure his ascension to the kingship (193). In the legend, the danger to the son comes from father-son rivalry, while the son's marriage to the mother confers the authority to rule. Again  25 reflecting  a time of  orders, Sophocles  transition  attributes  between  matriarchal  the blight and  and  patriarchal  sterility which  affected  Thebes under Oedipus' reign to the sin of incest as well as to parricide (2:115). With the institution of patriarchal  inheritance and right to  political power as the Sun King's anointed one, patterns familiar to contemporary  students  of  domination by the father  psychology  and  politics  emerged:  as supreme god or tyrant; rivalry  between  sons; tension between the father's fear of patricide and the elder son's fear of being sacrificed; the rebellious younger son; the abjected mother; the Oedipal myth and its consequences. The northern invaders brought with them a caste system and the master-slave  concept  of  domination.  Marduk,  for  example,  creates  man to serve the gods through work, thus relieving the divine ones from having to labor. Men furnish the gods with food through sacrifice, providing an earthly role model for the accumulation of labor by the ruling  class. In  the Indo-European  caste  highest status. The warriors also enjoyed nurturers,  composed  of  farmers,  and  lawgiver-priests  high esteem, followed  herdsmen,  Members of the third caste nurtured servants  system,  artisans  and  the priest-judges  held by  women.^  and warriors  as  caretakers.  Everywhere  the  Indo-Europeans  settled,  they  brought  a  diminution in the rights and social position of women. Dexter cites the evidence of suttee  cremations in India, indicating not only the  importance of males but also the expendability of female lives. With the  institution  of  patrilineal  ownership  and  inheritance,  deprived not only of their property, but of the right  women  to own  were  property  26 in their own name. Women belonged to their fathers and to their husbands afterwards, Under patrimony,  male children  before  marriage  remaining minors all their lives.  were preferred  to female  ones.  Losing  the right to rule or control property or conduct business, women became economic commodities to be bought or traded. They  were  marriage pawns in exchanges by which ambitious men sought to gain advantage from  alliance with a woman's father.  Likewise, a woman's  father might gain by alliance with her suitor. Luce Irigaray  (echoing  Lacan) terms this system of exchange, using a woman as a token for bartered  advantages  which  accrue  to males,  a  "hommo-sexual"  economy (168). If a girl was unmarried and raped, Indo-European  law  demanded that she marry her rapist. Stone sums up the changes: The major changes in the laws concerning women affected their right to engage in economic activities, what they might or might not inherit, what they in turn were allowed to pass on to their children, the attitude toward rape, abortion, infidelity on the part of the ... wife and, among the Hebrews only, the penalty of death — for women — for the loss of virginity before marriage. (60) Since these laws primarily affected  the economic and sexual  of women, it is likely that they were aimed at the matrilineal  activities descent  customs, as Stone concludes. The very fact that so many of the laws concerned women suggests that both the economic and  sexual  positions of women were continually changing from the time of the first attested northern invasions (about 2300 BC) until the laws of the Hebrews, which  were probably  written  down  between  1250 and  BC (60). Shifts in the religio-mythological pattern appear to reflect changes in socio-economic and political conditions for  women.  1000  27 Assimilation  of  earlier  goddesses  by  proto-Indo-Europeans  is  common especially in Europe and Asia Minor, and many of them do retain  some of  themselves  their  possessed  autonomy  and  only a few,  potency.  rather  Indo-Europeans  weak,  indigenous  goddesses  related to nature. Although the ancient Bronze Age goddesses  were  subordinated to male sky gods such as Zeus, many of them (Athena, Artemis, Diana, Hera, and Aphrodite) However, patriarchal  among  social  retained  the Hebrews, whose  structures  resemble  ancient goddesses were not accorded  those  great  power.  migratory, of  martial  and  the Indo-Europeans,  divine status and, indeed,  the  often  became symbols of evil. The Biblical Garden of Eden myth recapitulates  themes from  Near East  goddess  mythologies:  the  garden,  the tree of knowledge, the snake as a symbol of wisdom and knowledge, and the sacred marriage {hieros However, instead  of the Sumerian  gamos)  to renew  Inanna and her shepherd  fertility. consort  Dumuzi, the Babylonian Ishtar and her consort Tammuz, or the Greek Aphrodite and Adonis, the Hebrews posited Adam and Eve. The Garden of Eden myth is a particularly pervasive example of the power of Campbell's "mythological defamation" associated with the most powerful  (1964:80). Here, Eve is  attributes of the Goddess religion —  the garden, serpent, wisdom, and sexual knowledge  — symbolized by  the fruit of a fig tree,^ most closely associated with the asherim,  or  temple of Ashtoreth (Astarte), the Goddess as she was known in Canaan, the land occupied by the Hebrews. In the Eden myth the Goddess's powers are demonized. Eve is portrayed as the evil one, whose  sexuality  and friendship  with  the serpent  (wisdom)  brings  about the couple's disobedience and God's curse. Her powers as source  28 of universal life are stripped away. Not only is Eve no longer the cosmic Creatress, but the Father God, who appropriates her attributes, attempts to banish her from her from  the divine realm altogether, by  forming  Adam's rib and metaphorically making her a derivative of  "man." Portrayed as the active sexual temptress, she is assigned all the guilt for the "fall" of man into "sin." In the Mother Goddess religions, the goddess's consort was a "year god," or "rising/dying god," who had to die annually or after a certain number of years, so that he could be reborn again, just as were the crops. In a curse reminiscent of the archaic  "death  curse,"lo ritually pronounced by an old woman upon  the "year/king" at sacrifice. Eve is punished by expulsion  from  "paradise," agony in childbirth and subservience to her husband. patriarchy  eroded  women's  economically forced  rights  and  independence,  women  As  were  to accept a husband who ruled the household.  Stone points out that, A consciousness of the relationship of the veneration of the Goddess to the matrilineal descent of name, property and the rights to the throne is vital in understanding the suppression of the Goddess religion ... it was probably the underlying reason for the resentment of the worship of the Goddess (and all that it represented) by the patriarchal invaders who arrived from the north. (60-61) The  Crone Having  described  the mythological  conflict  between  the  Mother  and Father as Origin, or Creator(ress), I will now turn to the specific qualities attributed to the Crone as deity (see figure  1).^ ^ The Great  Goddess, or Great Mother, had three aspects: Virgin, Mother, and Crone, corresponding to the new, full, and waning moon, or to the creating,  preserving,  and  destroying  aspects  of  nature  (Walker  23-24).  29 In her mythic or archetypal powers  connected  figuratively  representations, and  the Crone  metaphorically  embodies  to the energies  and  powers of the waning moon. This period represents a cyclically recurring  phase of gradual  withdrawal, reflection  and rest to  prepare  for the coming of new life. As destroyer, the Crone is associated with death,  and  her  "death-curse"  Dexter's descriptive "universal"  theory of  energies,  was  considered  the female's  the Virgin  represents  all-powerful.  embodiment potential  the Mother, the energy of reproduction, fruiting,  of  Using certain  or stored  energy;  giving and  nourishing; and the Crone, the energy of quiet, darkness and rest to prepare for the regeneration of life (1990: Chapt.  13).  The Crone image derives from the early intuition of the earth mother receiving back into herself  the dead plants, animals, and  humans, out of which new life would come. Life and death were seen as different aspects of a whole, with earth as a womb taking back into itself the dead and bringing forth new life. The vision of a life-deathlife  cycle, maintained  prevailed.  Life  was  through  endless  simultaneously  Through her important function  rounds  of  ever-new,  reincarnation,  ever-continuous.  of eliminating the old, the useless, and  those who had performed their role in life, the Crone goddess prepared  the  way  for  perpetual  renewal  The mythologies which developed Indo-European  tribes often  depict  those  and  after  regeneration. the invasions of  goddesses  who  "were  the frozen  in their aged state, who even potentially would not energize the men of their society," as "frightful  hags, women who were to be avoided at  all costs" (Dexter 178). The faces of these old women goddesses were often veiled, since humans only beheld their faces at death. From this  30 belief, as well as from vestiges of her earlier Neolithic powers as prophetess, associated with the all-seeing "eye," came the fear of the Crone's "evil eye," which was thought to cause  death. For this reason,  the crone's curse was feared and all-powerful.  Not even the gods could  escape  Nemesis. A few  goddesses survived to continue the ancient  traditions,  until they, too, were suppressed through the spread of the JudeoChristian-Islamic religions. Although they suffered they for  somehow several  escaped  millennia.  total  assimilation  into  As Dexter comments,  a loss of  Indo-European  "many  Indo-Europeans  and often  removed  to far-away  societies  autonomous  goddesses were transmuted to witches by the Greeks, other  power,  Romans, and islands or  stuck  underwater ... lurking just at the periphery of men's consciousness.  ...  More commonly, the goddess in her death aspect was viewed not as goddess, but as 'witch.' Her role as 'wise woman' was forgotten" (182). The Titaness, Hecate, a goddess of herbal magic, was one of the ancient group of deities preceding the Olympic pantheon who  retained  much of her old luster and was respected as a powerful force. Like the ancient Goddess of Regeneration, she was regarded as a life-giver  and  nurturer as well as death-bringer, able to give and take life at will. Her name is thought to be derived from that of the Egyptian goddess Heqit (Hekat), rooted in the word heq,  meaning  intelligence  (Walker  50). Among the Egyptians Heqit was considered to be the Grandmother, the one who bore the flail, the symbol of authority. She was the source of hekau,  the "words of power" which commanded and  decided all things, including the forces of creation and (Walker  50).^ ^  destruction  Later, the Christians re-named the Greek Hecate the  3 1 Queen of the Witches, and her multifaceted subordinated  to her characterization  qualities  were  as the goddess of  the  underworld  and death, associated with night, ghosts and sorcery. In a negative sense, she retained tremendous power as a witch well into the seventeenth  or eighteenth  Because of  century in Europe and New  their mysterious  relationship to the  England. Goddess-as-  Crone, the old tribal clan grandmothers were a repository of magical wisdom, knowledge, and herbal lore, who also had the special ability to invoke the curse of death. Moreover, because they no longer experienced  monthly  bleeding, they were thought to be storing  their  "wise blood," making them respected as a source of wisdom and insight about life. Among the Celtic peoples of Brittany, the old "wise women" were credited with the ability to heal, to predict the future, to transform  into different  shapes, and to control the weather.  Humanly  speaking, the crone is a woman past her reproductive years, in the "autumn" or "winter" of life depending on her age. She may be a guide, or elder, possessing wisdom, understanding of the continuity of  life,  and the independence of thought and action which comes with cessation of husbandmatriarch,  charged  or a grandmother,  and child-related  with  both  transmitting  providing  responsibilities. and  nurturing  a sense of rooted  She may be a responsibilities,  generativity  and  tradition to the young. Frequently, especially in extreme old age, she is simply  the abject  old woijian.  In patriarchal  Indo-European  societies,  the old woman was least respected. The antithesis of the virgin, who stored energy, or of the matron, who transmitted it, the old woman was frequently  portrayed as a barren creature who was said to  deplete the energies of others to supplement her own  declining  32  resources. Even when serving as herbalists, dispensers of wise advice, or soothsayers, old women in European-based  societies have tended  to  live in poverty at the periphery of the social group. Throughout the millennia, there has been a radical change in how women, both divine and earthly, have been viewed by their societies, from  the shamanic cultures of the Upper Paleolithic  period to the goddess-centered cultures of the long Neolithic from  the assimilated  Indo-Europeans  and  societies the people  made  up of  male-centered,  they conquered  to modern  many of which include no feminine personification  hunting period,  patriarchal cultures,  within the divine  at all. The Crone, too, has made a millennia-long journey.  Contained  within her mythology is the mystery of death and rebirth, the mystic, the snake goddess as seeress and the embodiment of wisdom, the wise, compassionate guide. Because she is no longer connected the reproductive  economy,  she has  an independence  and  with  autonomy  quite different from the status of the virgin or matron. She can be sexually irreverent, even lewd or obscene. In a matrilineal  society, she  can be a force for social continuity and a source of ancestral energy for younger  generations,  since  she possesses  memory  most experienced  of her lineage. Patriarchal  to  boundary-transgressing  suppress  her  represents  cultures have sought  autonomy  powers and resources. She has been often  and  and  to  exploit  the both her  regarded as the hideous  monster, the ugly old witch, the hag, a demonic force, one who depletes energy or fails to energize males; barren, sterile, one whose "evil eye" brings death and misfortune. femme  fait  horreur"  (de Beauvoir  "Infirme, laide, vieille, la  260). Although  her  womb-cauldron.  33 source and destiny of all creation, has become a witch's pot, full of curses, spells, and evil potions, it is anything but a "passive" receptacle. According to Erich Neumann, the magical cauldron or pot was always in the hands of the female mana figures or priestesses, whose significant  and essential  social power was the  transforming  power of the cauldron, the power to understand life forces and rhythms, rather than 1982:  power or domination  over others  (Spretnak,  ed.  37). 1 have begun with this discussion of the Great Goddess as Origin,  in order to establish the characteristics, symbols, rites and powers attributed to the Crone aspect of this ancient  sacred  mythological  cosmology. In the next two chapters, I will examine some constructions in patriarchal the of  Crone  discourse  archetype,  a relationship  symbol  and  of the extended  bearing  between  cultural  in  mind  treatment  values.  of  symbolic idea represented  by  the contemporary  understanding  a  literary  "value-charged"  34  NOTES ^Simone de Beauvoir. Le  Deuxieme  Sexe.  (Paris: Editions Gallimard,  1949), iii.  ^Charlene Spretnak elaborates on this concept: "Paleolithic statues celebrate the mysteries of the female: Woman's body bled painlessly in rhythm with the moon, and her body miraculously made people, then provided food for the young by making milk. ... In time these energies became embodied in the sacred presence of the Great Goddess, the encompassing matrix of female power. On her surface she produced food, into her womb she received the dead. Rituals in her honor took place in womb-like caves, often with vulva-like entrances and long, slippery corridors; both the cave entrances and grave sites were often painted with bloodlike red ochre. ... As society evolved, so did the powers of the Goddess. She was revered as the source of life, death and rebirth; as the giver of the arts, divine wisdom, and just law; and as the protector of peace and the nurturer of growth. She was all forces, active and passive, creative and destructive, fierce and gentle (19-20). ^ See especially Gadon's discussion of the work of French pre-historian Andre Leroi-Gourhan and Alexander Marshak's Roots of Civilization, in her chapter "The Ice Age: The Earth As Mother." ^Dexter refers to the "sedentary agriculturists who raised predominantly cattle and pigs" throughout southeastern and east central Europe during the Neolithic Age from about 6500 BCE to about 3500 BCE (4). These peoples worshipped variously named goddesses representing aspects of the life-and-death bringing Great Mother. ^ In Catal Hiiyiik: A Neolithic Town in Anatolia, Mellaart comments that "as the only source of life she [woman] became associated with the processes of agriculture, with the taming and nourishing of domesticated animals, with the ideas of increase, abundance and fertility. Hence a religion which aimed at exactly that same conservation of life in all its forms, its propagation and the mysteries of its rite connected with life and death, birth and resurrection, were evidently part of her sphere rather than that of man. It seems extremely likely that the cult of the goddess was administered mainly by women, even if the presence of male priests was by no means excluded" (202). 6 De Beauvoir, 1949: 276-278, 307-310. Kristeva, "Herethique de I'amour" in Quel, 74 (Winter 1977): 30-49 and Pouvoirs de Vhorreur.  Tel  ^ The custom is still practiced among the Zoroastrians of Iran and the Parsees of India. ^ In Plato's Republic there is a reflection of this caste system in his description of the three orders of the Republic: The Guardians, Warriors, and Nurturing or Productive classes. In the "Allegory of Metals" there is an interweaving of the older Neolithic with the new Indo-European cultures. In the allegory, all people are made in the womb of the earth and therefore everyone is brother to the other as "sons of earth" and should think of the land (earth) as their nurse. However,  35 "the god who fashioned you mixed gold in the composition of those among you who are fit to rule ... and he put silver in the Auxiliaries, and iron and brass in the farmers and craftsmen" (III.415). " Stone theorizes that the tree mentioned in the Biblical story of Adam and Eve was a ficus sicomorus, or sycamore fig, sometimes denoted as the black mulberry. With reddish clumps of grape-like fruit, the tree was sacred to the Goddess Hathor in Egypt. (Stone 175, 214-218). The Crone: Woman of Age, Wisdom and Power, Barbara G. Walker recounts that representatives of all three aspects of the Mother Goddess were required to attend the sacred drama when the son/gods died to beget themselves for another rebirth. The Crone, or her representative, laid a solemn curse upon the dying god just before his sacrifice in order to seal his sacred fate by dooming him so that no guilt would accrue to those who actually committed the act of killing him. Through her curse, the sacrificial god was anathematized and was already "dead" to the world once the Crone had pronounced his fate (25-26). ^ ^Crone phase goddesses have been known by various names. Hecate rules the underworld in the Greek Hebe-Hera-Hecate triad. Atrophos is the old woman who cuts the thread of life in the Clotho-Lachesis-Atrophos Greek trinity of the Moirai, or Fates. Cerridwen is the Crone phase of the Celtic Mother Goddess Bridgit. Like Hecate, the Indie Nirrti was associated with the death which follows old age. The Celtic crow-goddess, Badb, and bird-goddess, Morrigan (also known as Morgan la Fay or Fate) could bring death in battle as well as victory. Closely related to the Crone phase of the goddesses were witches such as the Slavic Baba Yaga, an old woman similar to the "Hansel and Gretel" witch who lived in the woods and devoured any mortals who strayed too close to her. Baba Yaga rode in a mortar, propelled by a pestle, and swept away her traces with a broom (Dexter 182). ^ 2 See also: Hexe, Saxon. Webster's  German; hagazussa, Old High German; and haegtesse, AngloNew Universal Unabridged Dictionary, 2nd edition, 1983.  36  The The  Father's  Public  and  "Norn":  CHAPTER 2 The Crone in Patriarchal  Private  Spheres  Discourse  In this chapter I will examine some depictions of the Crone in patristic and, later, patriarchal literature, following  the great period of  synthesis  Christian  of  Pagan  literature  and philosophy  with  theology  and doctrine, a process which essentially culminated in the third century under the aegis of Augustine.i established codified,  throughout  Europe,  Once Christianity was firmly  and the Church doctrines  and  dogmas  literary portrayal of the Crone was largely governed  patristic theological  and philosophical  constructs.  Lacan  by  termed  this  constellation of constructs the "Law of the Father," a point summed up by his pun on "nom" and "non": the Father both exercises propriety (property)  through  naming and forbids  The period in question  and restricts by imposing  spans nearly  2500 years and  virtually all that we call "Western civilization." theologians, statesmen  authors, poets, artists, musicians,  rules.  encompasses  Its philosophers,  scholars, scientists  were men whose thoughts, creations, and actions  and  shaped  the  course of human life throughout Europe, the mid-East, Asia, and the "new" American  and Australian continents. Its foundations  rest upon  the  works of Homer, Plato, Aristotle and the Bible. Throughout this long period, scholars and poets wrote about philosophic ideals of Truth, God, Beauty, Goodness, Just Government, the Summum  Bonum,  and Love.  During this time, the voices of women were seldom directly heard or publicly  acknowledged.  The pervasive  patriarchal  social  construct  of  dual,  separate spheres of influence — one public, the other private — resulted in the literary construction of an idealized "eternal feminine" as object of  37  the male gaze and critique, while silencing and relegating women to the "domestic  sphere".2  In the binary opposites characteristic of  patriarchal  thought. Beauty is equated with good, light, positive qualities and is even a sign of spiritual closeness to God. Ugliness is evil, corrupt and associated with the dark female earth's chthonic  forces.  In a construct based upon the duality of paired opposites, the Crone has occupied an unstable, frequently which includes old  age and death,  upon the universal  in human experience,  difference. retained  abject,  transgresses rather  position. Her domain,  boundaries than  and  converges  polarized  Through her relation to healing, dying and death, she has  vestiges of  her ancient powers. However,  towards death changed from capitalist economy  as Western  attitudes  acceptance to resistance, and as an emerging  based upon the production  of surplus devalued  productive members, the Crone was marginalized  on the periphery of  social consciousness. As the witch persecutions of the fifteenth  through  eighteenth centuries attest, her attributes came to be re-assigned demonic nether-world, defamation," system  illustrating  again  non-  the process  of  to the  "mythic  Campbell's term for the means by which one symbolic  gains  ascendancy  over  another  through  the  undermining,  subversion and suppression of its mythic images. In the "Name of the Father" discourse, the Crone frequently associated  with  evil  and  is depicted as abject,  the underworld:  mysterious  and  loathsome,  frightening.  My analysis of the Crone's shifting position in patriarchal discourse begins with Boethius' De example from as the topos power  and  consolatione  philosophice,  late Antiquity, in which the Crone archetype,  an manifested  of the young/old woman, retains much of her goddess numinosity,  although  re-directed  towards  patriarchal  ends.  38  I will then turn to the issue of the old woman's sexuality and body as presented in French works from different  periods. The issues of "La  Querelle des femmes" and the old woman's sexuality (body) had emerged  in French literature by the late thirteenth  century, with Jean  de Meung's Le Roman de la Rose, and continue to this day. seventeenth-century  literary version of the French folk  Chaperon rouge," provides a methodological  reinforce  interpretations,  noting  or question patriarchal  how  tale, "Le Petit  example of my analysis of  the literary works in light of various, and frequently theoretical  Perrault's  the  various  or matriarchal  conflicting, theories  themselves  positions. Discussion of  these works will provide a framework for later comparison of the old woman and  and  related  American  Mediator  and  issues  in  nineteenth-  and  twentieth-century  French  literatures. Guide:  The  Crone  as  Sapientia  In the literature of early Christianity, the ancient topos  of a  woman who is at once old and young was retained in the synthesis of older Pagan mythology and philosophy with the doctrines of the young religion. A common topos  of late Antiquity, the figure of the old/young  woman appears in early Christian "Church,"3 wisdom. puer  literature:  sometimes  as the  who ages yet becomes young again, or often as a symbol of  Although  senex,  dream  Ernst  Curtius^ attributes this figure (along with the  the "old man/boy child" figure who also appears in early  Christian literature)  solely to the realm of psychological  archetypes, she  is a literary manifestation of the archaic "wise Crone." Curtius cites other examples from  Antiquity  of the old/young  woman  who  supernaturally ages and becomes young again: the Dea Roma,  Goddess  of Rome, "grown gray and decrepit," who in the presence of Jupiter is  3 9 encouraged  and rejuvenated;  aged and youthfully  the Goddess Natura, described as at once  beautiful  (104); and the Goddess Fortuna, who  brings and takes away luck. Here is the old lunar deity, waxing and waning, ever moving toward death, only to reappear full of youth.^ One of the most well-known examples of this topos Boethius' De consolatione  philosophice  appears in  (524), an allegorical  dream  vision. The figure of Lady Philosophy "appears" to Boethius to guide, through Socratic dialogue, his moral and philosophical the Summum Roman  Bonum,  patrician  executed)  and  interrogation of  the supreme good. Written while Boethius, a former  under a perjured  Consul,  was imprisoned  (and  subsequently  charge of treason against Theodoric,  Ostrogoth king and governor of Rome, the Consolation  the  became one of  the most popular books from the time of its writing until the late Renaissance.6 The vision of Lady Philosophy appears to a middle-aged Boethius, who has tragically fallen  from  his former wealth and  prominence.  Boethius' description of her size and general appearance follows  the  conventions of the "Queen of Heaven" trope of the ancient Pagan world, discussed in the previous chapter. She is a "woman of  majestic  countenance  the  whose  flashing  eyes  seemed  wise beyond  ordinary  wisdom of men" (Boethius 4). Her coloring and vigor suggest youthfulness, yet "she seemed so old that she could not be thought of as belonging to our age" (4). Sometimes she appears to be of ordinary stature but, raising herself  to her full  height,  "she penetrated  heaven  itself, beyond the vision of human eyes" (4). The fabric of her robe, woven  with  delicate  threads  and  meticulous  workmanship  into  an  40  everlasting fabric, becomes a metaphor for philosophy itself. clothes, he  Her  continues,  had been darkened in color somewhat by neglect and the passage of time, as happens to pictures exposed to smoke. At the lower edge of her robe was woven a Greek II, at the top the letter 9,^ and between them were seen clearly marked stages, like had been torn, however, by the hands of violent men, who had ripped away what they could. In her right hand, the woman held certain books; in her left hand, a scepter. (4) In the Jungian realm of psychological  archetypes. Lady  Philosophy can be regarded as an expression of Boethius' anima: a guide or mediator. When speaking of anima figures, it is important to be aware that these represent aspects of "the feminine" in the masculine psyche; they are images of the "feminine as Imaginary Other." Maria Louise von Franz has described the four stages of anima development  in the masculine  psyche, personified  in ascending  order  by Eve, Helen, Mary and Sapientia. Eve symbolizes "purely instinctual and biological  relations." Helen represents a "romantic and  level that is, however, still characterized  by sexual  aesthetic  elements."  Embodying the third level, the Virgin Mary is a "figure who raises love (eros)  to the heights of spiritual devotion." The highest type is  symbolized  by Sapientia,  "wisdom  the most pure" (Jung, ed.  transcending even the most holy  and  1964:185).  It is useful to bear in mind that Jungian analysis of archetypes does not necessarily  escape the essentializing  thinking, and it often  perpetuates  boundaries  embodied  strives  a complementary  for  "feminine,"  in  elements of  the sociological  mythological balance  mythological  assumptions  figures.  Although  Jungian  between  "masculine"  and theory  and  unlike Freudian theory which privileges the Father, this is  4 1 frequently  achieved  by  "masculine/feminine"  or  stereotyped,  reductionist  animus/anima  interpretations  oppositions  which  of  advocate  "feminine" qualities for women's role as "anima." Beguiling  though  anima images may be, it is not necessarily beneficial for women to identify with them, since the anima role fixes the female in a male "object-of-desire"  or  "male-validated"  Jung's exploration of psychological  position. At  the same  time,  archetypes, or what he termed  the  "symbolic language or images," used by all religions and produced by the  individual  exposes  for  individual theorists  unconsciously  analysis  and and  spontaneously  the archetypal  collective critics  and  who  culture.  dreams  symbol-producing  The tension  work  in  with  (1964:21),  capacity  between  of  the  writers,  mythological/archetypal  symbol  systems and those who seek to deconstruct these systems as essentializing, the  present  metaphysical  and  phallically  univocal  informs  much of  study.  Although  she may be interpreted  "anima" figure, the personification  in contemporary  terms as an  of Lady Philosophy was a literary  convention in late Antiquity. A rhetorical device deployed in a dialogical debate on topical philosophical issues, her message is  firmly  rooted in Classical patriarchal thought, especially that of Plato and Socrates. Her robe indicates the unity of philosophy, encompassing  the  theoretical and the practical application to life, as well as a hierarchy of orders. Her robe has been torn by reason's enemies who have fought over her principles and tried to suppress reason's wisdom,  which  represents  (Boethius,  "the  [hierarchical]  norm of the heavenly  order"  10). Proceeding along neo-Platonic lines, which include valorization of spirit,  principle, ideals and transcendence, her teachings lead  her  42  pupil's mind away from the strife and injustice of earthly fate and fortunes to a contemplation of lasting truths and values, to a reevaluation of his life and its principles, based not upon the outcome of his unjust sentencing and loss of possessions, reputation and life, but upon an analysis of values which transcend the corporeal. She encourages a contemplation of the unity of all things in God, expressed as divine intelligence, and an acceptance of death which puts an end to both good and bad fortune. Earthly life is relegated to Fortune's mutable  realm,  while  happiness. However,  the  transcendent  godhead  while Lady Philosophy points  provides to  immutable  the  transcendent  Godhead as the Alpha and Omega of happiness, it is, in fact, her psychological  immanence  and  wisdom  which  comforts,  nourishes,  and  provides solace. The distant God, who is never immanent, remains aloof and silent, while Lady Philosophy consoles and guides her companion in confronting  his  mortality.  Judging from the description of her garments and symbols it is possible that Lady Philosophy is, to a certain extent, also a literary reincarnation  of the goddess Minerva, the Roman goddess of  wisdom  and the Crone phase of the triple Mother goddess. The "certain books" which she holds in her right hand indicate learning and wisdom, and perhaps are even titles of importance to the dreamer's  philosophic  outlook. The scepter in her left hand indicates authority to rule. According to J. Cirlot's Dictionary  of Symbols,  the book is related to the  symbolism of weaving, a woman's art and one at which Lady Philosophy, a 'weaver" of meaning, excelled, since she has woven her clothing herself  "into an everlasting fabric." Her clothing has darkened  through age and neglect, suggesting a deity who has been neglected  for  43  some period of time. That the darkening may also be related to smoke, and that her robe has been torn by violent men who ripped away what they could, also points not only to desecration by lesser philosophers, but possibly to her overthrow by violence: the sack of Rome. Not only was Minerva the Roman goddess of wisdom, she was also the patroness of artisans, including weavers. Moreover, she was one of the three imperial deities of Rome, together with Jupiter and Juno. The scepter which she bears in her left hand may symbolize imperial power as well as spiritual authority. In Lady Philosophy, Boethius, born about a quarter-of-a-century  after  the fall  of Rome in 454 and  accused of treason by the Ostrogoth king Theodoric,^ the ancient Roman goddess as comforter  (falsely)  may have  invoked  and nurturer in his dark  hours. Or perhaps it is more accurate to view both Lady Philosophy and Minerva as manifestations  of Sapientia, the guide and mediator,  echoes ancient Crone goddesses in her wisdom and preparation  who for  death. Respect for the Crone phase of the Great Goddess declined, as patriarchy shifted  the emphasis from  the lunar, mutable world of  Old Goddess to the unchanging, immortal realm of an eternal  the  Father  God, in whose likeness Man is made. While the image of Mary, Mother of God, — a desexualized echo of the Great Goddess — has, in particular periods,  exercised  tremendous  creative  and  nurturing  power,  her  role  as consoler and wisdom-giver at the time of old age and death has diminished, as Christian doctrine extolled the desirability of life in "Heaven," relegated earthly life to a "vale of tears," and promoted a spiritual  immortality  over physical  ever young, ever serenely beautiful:  incarnation.  Mary  is portrayed  the Virgin and young  Mother.  as  44  Following  the  Reformation,  as an active force.  Mary  disappeared  from  Protestant  theology  She has remained a (frequently  saccharine)  example  of the "eternal feminine" for the Catholic church, as theological mystification  of humanly  created  myths and  symbols continues  to  reinforce the social, political and power desires of the ruling class.^ Beyond  Desire:  The  Loathsome  Crone  Because the human old woman (see figure 1) is both past reproductive age (and consequently not an object of desire) and  often  possesses a certain independence of mind, she has been viewed as nonfeminine, of  masculinized  passive,  demanding,  submissive,  in comparison desirable  femininity.  expendable  because  idealized  Temperamentally  calculating, manipulative and selfish,  preserve some of her former considered  to the patriarchal  cranky,  as she struggled  stature, the elderly woman was of  her  non-productivity,  vision  to  frequently  dependence  and vulnerability. Especially in an emerging capitalist economy, old age is seen as a barren period, a negative drain upon a reproductive economy based upon the creation of surplus. The old woman  consumes  food, care and resources without possibility of gain. The vulnerability of old age requires that she be protected, although her productive  value  does not usually justify the effort. Nearing death, her body intrudes as a reminder of decay and mortality. As Mary Daly has averred, "All human beings are threatened by non-being" (23), and the old woman's body brings these issues of social invisibility, non-being and death into high relief. Moreover, just as youthful feminine beauty was seen as a sign of idealized spiritual grace, so the old woman's body was often regarded as a sign for the forces of evil and the influence of Hell.^ ^  45 The metaphor of the Crone as Death and its accompanying symbolism has been dangerous for old women, in that it has permitted the persecution of witches and hags, who function  individually  or  collectively as social scapegoats. During the "witch burning" period, the "abjection" (casting out) and sacrifice of these "loathsome crones" was thought to cleanse and purge the social group of evil and demons. Through this action, the old women assume aspects of the ritual function  of the ancient year-king, whose periodic sacrifice  renewed  the  land. Recalcitrant old women, reminders of bodily decay and superfluity,  were frequent  targets for fear and persecution,  in the  process of which their goods and estate could be "managed" or appropriated. An examination of the figures of Vieillesse (Old Age) and La Vieille (The Duenna)  in the late thirteenth-century  medieval  allegorical  poem, Le Roman de la Rose ( 1 2 8 0 ) yields insight into some of the ambivalent attitudes with which the old woman has been regarded, she moves into that life-stage at furthest  remove from  as  being the object  of male desire. One of the most influential works of the Middle Ages, Le de la Rose, an  allegorical  de Lorris around  dream-vision  poem, was begun by  1237 to celebrate I'amour  courtois.  Roman  Guillaume  Influenced by  Ovid, Chretien de Troyes, Andreas (Andre le Chapelain) Capellanus's De arte honeste amandi allegorical  (The Art of Courtly Love)  dream-visions, de Lorris' fragment  and the tradition of recounts the dream  of  L'Amant, who comes to the Garden of Mirth and, wounded by Eros' arrows, discovers the Rose, which he desires for his own pleasure. Jean de  Meungi ^ continued the unfinished  work, extending it by more than  46 17,500 lines into a scholastic satire, targeting not only the idealized conventions of courtly love but also women, marriage and topical theological  issues.  In de Lorris' portion of Le outside  Roman,  Vieillesse is painted on the  of the Garden wall, indicating the external circumstances of life,  as opposed to the inner instinctual and psychological forces inside the Garden. She is linked with the figure of Temps (Time) a masculine entity who imperceptibly robs the living, and represents the end of life. Shrunken and helpless, she is waning to nothingness, a theme which is repeated throughout. desseche?", wrinkled  L'Amant  "Que reste-t-il de la beaute sur ce corps tant rhetorically  skin, yellowed  inquires  (Vertut  or missing teeth, withered  20).12 With her cheeks  and  lameness, Vieillesse is Ugly, the opposite of Beauty. As a personification of death, to which all arrive eventually, she constitutes an exhortation to live well and fully while young, providing impetus and rationale for L'Amant's pursuit of his lusty desires. In Jean de Meung's continuation of the poem, images of the hunt and rape predominate, as L'Amant stalks his "Rosebud," the young maiden whom he seeks to deflower. With the collaboration of La Vieille as well as other psychological ploys, such as Bel Accueil (Fair Welcome), which attract her to L'Amant, the Rose is not only plucked but impregnated. A barrage of coy metaphors follows  as Genius  (intellect)  exhorts him to do his duty by energetically sowing his "seed," using his "plow," "pen," and "hammer" upon the passive "furrow,"  "page," or  "anvil." Since L'Amant's avowed motive is the pleasure of  seduction  rather than the responsibilities  presumably  of marriage, the Rose will  be left to fend for herself and her little budlet as best she may. De  47 Meung's satire foregrounds a "Name of the Father" social code based, as Kristeva claims, upon symbolic exchange and the exchange of (1982:61).  In  this  patriarchal  agrarian  economy,  men  women  reproduce  their  lineage by "sowing their seed" upon women, who are the passive "field."  "Land" which is not plowed remains barren, or economically  unproductive; thus a woman who refuses her reproductive  role  and  risks  motherhood is not  fulfilling  superfluity.  De Meung's La Vieille presents the economics of seduction as seen from  the perspective  importance  which  of  the aging object-of-desire,  patriarchal  society  has placed  underscoring  upon  the  feminine  beauty  as a condition for being an object of desire and valued exchange commodity. The portrait of La Vieille, drawn with a certain cynical irony,  illustrates  certain  recurrent  French  attitudes  towards  an  woman's sexuality. A procuress now that her desirability has  old passed.  La Vieille aids L'Amant, not only from hope of gain but also because of stirrings of her own sexuality and memories. The connection  between  beauty and wealth is the text of her advice to the young woman. Rather than being either very good or very bad, she is worldly and venial, obliging enough when it suits her own self-interest or when mildly  threatened. In a discourse which is intended as a satirical portrait of the  ironies underlying courtly love's idealizations, the hag with the wrinkled,  "worn-out"  object-of-desire.  face reflects  upon the economic situation of the  Recalling her youthful  years as a great beauty, she  gives the young maiden worldly advice, based upon the authority of experience. She becomes a teacher, instructing the young woman how to play the game of love so as to avoid an impoverished old age.  48  maneuvering in an economy in which women, as objects of desire, have only their youth and beauty with which to gain security or wealth. Lors elle le doit serrer dans ses bras en le baisant, pour mieux Mais je le repete, qu'elle ne pense qu'^ I'argent. (Mary 235)13  I'affoler.  Femme est plus chere tenue quand plus cher elle s'est vendue! (Vertut ed., 160)14 Virginal beauty is a woman's only commodity. La Vieille advises women to manage this asset well, using it while young to improve or secure their financial  position. She exposes women's vulnerability  in a  social arena in which they may achieve economic security and  stability  only by attracting and holding males, culminating either in marriage or a well-established alliance. While her discourse is intended to be a satire on the calculated stratagems of women who pretend love in order to obtain financial  reward, her complaint reveals the harsh  realities of women's economic position in the patriarchal  order.i ^ The  "game of love" still operates to the advantage of the male lover; the Rose, like La Vieille, loses. As La Vieille's discourse reveals, women in the patriarchal respect  order give up their freedom,  in a master-servant  marriage  independence and  relationship,  but  they  self-  risk  destitution, scorn and stigma if they avoid marriage.i ^ Although La Vieille is assigned the task of protecting the "stored wealth" of the virginal "Rosebud," she covertly aligns herself with the seductive lover, pandering to his sexual drive. Accepting anneaux d'or" d'orfrois"  (Vertut  152) with promises of  "beaux  "parures et robes  (153),!'^ La Vieille agrees to help L'Amant gain access to Bel  Accueil and eventually to the Rose. The ambiguity of her position requires that to earn her keep she must guard the "wealth," which the  49 young virgin represents, by preventing  sexual  encounters. At the  same  time, she still desires to participate vicariously in the life force, of which sexuality is a part. An ironic contrast is made between society's assumption that her sexual feelings have declined in old age, while, in reality, she can still respond to the thrill of partaking in a sexual affair, benefits by the lover's gifts, and cherishes her own memories of being a sought-after  young  belle.  Her latent sexuality is depicted by de Meung as ludicrous, lewd and revolting in a "vile old hag." While the virginal  object-of-desire's  latent sexuality is alluring, the old woman's sexual interest, at a time when she can be neither an object of male desire nor subject of her own desires, renders her abject:  loathsome  and "radicalement un exclu"  in Kristeva's terms (1980:9). In patriarchy, the crone's sexuality is "la mort infestant la vie," in that it disturbs "une identite, un systeme, un ordre." With its appetite and proximity to death, it does not respect "les limites, les places, les regies" (12). The same ambivalence toward La Vieille's sexuality — the Gallic cynicism and ridicule which accompanies an old woman's interest — continues to characterize French attitudes, especially bourgeoisie.  those of  the  "Aging and dying ... are taboo topics within phallocentric  discourse," writes Elaine Marks in an essay, "Transgressing  the  (In)cont(in)ent Boundaries: The Body in Decline," about Simone de Beauvoir's  discussion of old age and sexual function in her  autobiographical presents both  works  (187). In de Beauvoir's  an opportunity  for  rejuvenation  musings,  sexuality  and the disgusting  ridiculous spectacle of "les vieilles peaux" ("old skins") responding sexual urges and instincts (Marks  185).  and to  50  The satirical and misogynist elements of Le Roman de la Rose summoned one of the most determined pens of the day to the defense of  women. "Mais je say bien que il est propre a ceulx qui veulent  malicieusement  vivre,"^^  Christine de Pisan observed tartly in her  famous critique of Le Roman contained in a letter to Master Pierre Col, dated October 2,  1302.^ ^ Europe's  earliest  known  professional  woman  writer, Pisan fired the first recorded retaliatory shot in a continuing battle in French letters, known as "La Querelle des femmes." Using a number of exempla,  or examples of heroines and virtuous  ladies drawn for the most part from Boccaccio's De claris  mulieribus,  Christine de Pisan challenges the historical discourse of her time, writing a history of women to refute misogynist charges of  feminine  weakness and vice and to show women's virtuousness. In La Cite des Dames  (1304-5), she questions "quelles pouvaient etre les causes et les  raisons qui poussaient tant d'hommes, clercs et autres, a medire des femmes et a vituperer leur conduite soit en paroles, soit dans leurs traites et leurs ecrits ... Philosophes, poetes et moralistes ... tous semblent parler d'une meme voix pour conclure que la femme est foncierement Augustine's  mauvaise et portee au vice" (36). Adopting Boethius' and allegorical  dream-vision  convention  guide, she describes "trois dames couronnees  of  the  goddess-like  [Dame Raison, Dame  Droiture, and Dame Justice] de tres haute dignite" and "de naissance divine" (41) who appear before her. "La splendeur qui emanait de leurs visages rejaillissait sur moi, illuminant toute la piece" (38). While Boethius' Lady Philosophy  consoled with messages drawn from  neo-  Platonic philosophy. Dame Raison provides solace to Christine (and her women  readers)  by re-interpreting  women's  "true"  nature,  using  the  51 rhetorical device of antiphrasis  "de tourner a ton avantage leurs ecrits  la oh ils blament les femmes"(39). style of of  Using the authoritative,  patristic discourse, including  Classical  authorities,  Christine  rhetorical  critiques  her  allegorical  devices and  invocation  fourteenth-century  French courtly society for not valuing women equally with men. Her criticisms are surprisingly education;  contemporary:  society's preference  for  women's lack of access  male babies; the  "double  to  standard"  of courtly love; blaming the female rape victim; violence in marriage; and  women's dire economic  impoverished.  Obliquely  position  countering  which de  keeps them dependent  Meung's  insinuations  and  about  the  sexually-driven older woman, she tells the story of Queen Blanche, mother of St. Louis, in La Cite des Dames. The good, virtuous queen, "qui n'etait pourtant plus dans la fleur de sa jeunesse" (231), was loved passionately  by the much younger comte de Champagne,  whose  affection lasted all of his life, despite the impossibility of his ever winning her love. Moreover, Pisan claims to know many older women "qui ont ete plus sollicitees ... depuis que leur grande beaute et leur jeunesse s'en  sont allees que dans I'epanouissement  (232). Expressing inadvertently  they  astonishment have  de leur jeune age"  and concern, the women wonder if  encouraged  these  men  but,  Christine  suggests,  "c'est leur vertu eminente qui les faisait aimer" (232). Her advice to older women who might be chaperons of young ladies, given in L e Livre du Tresor de la Cite des Dames,  urges them to quickly make  excuses to leave court to avoid harm should their young charges spurn their counsel and willfully  seem to encourage a lover (95-96). Christine  energetically devoted much of her long and illustrious career to issues of "La Querelle," writing against the grain of accepted historical  52 discourse and using rhetoric to undermine the patriarchal maintained  female  Fairy-tale  inferiority  and  logic which  suffering.  Grandmothers  As early as the late seventeenth XIV of France, the conte de fee the sophisticated,  became a popular  worldly precieuses  salons.2 1 The conte  century^ o in the court of Louis  and precieux  literary of  form  among  Parisian  de fee was related to the fable, also popular in the  seventeenth century, and to the Latin fabulae.  Charles Perrault's use of  the fairy tale was part of the bitter quarrel between the Ancients and Moderns, in which classicists ridiculed the use of vernacular sources. The conte  de fee,  however, was more commonly composed  by  aristocratic women of the court (Warner 5). In 1695, Perrault's de Ma Mere I'Oye appeared, containing classics such as  Contes  "Cendrillon"  ("Cinderella"); "Le Petit Chaperon rouge" ("Little Red Riding Hood"); "La Belle au bois dormant" ("Sleeping Beauty"); "Le Petit Poucet" ("Little Tom Thumb"); and "Le Chat botte" ("Puss in Boots"),  told by "Mother  Goose," a nursery mask for the Crone. Like other contes de fees w e r e intended homme  as amusing  civilise, Perrault's  tales to illustrate the courtly values of the  for a rising class of hauts tale  these  "Cendrillon"  bourgeois  demonstrates  gentilhommes?^  the more typical  "folk"  fairy tale ending, in which a person of low birth moves into high position. Abused by her stepmother and stepsisters, who are jealous of her beauty and gracious nature, Cinderella endures a pitiful In the phallic sexual code, however, the attractive, agreeable  situation. Cinderella  will be more desirable than the two ugly, quarrelsome daughters and thus able to marry well. The jealous old hag (evil), symbolized by the cruel  stepmother,  competes  with  the wise, helpful  fairy  godmother  53 (good), who provides the necessary material attributes of class — gown, coach, and footmen — to indicate Cinderella's worthiness. Psychologically, the two old women can be seen as dual aspects of the old woman figure: the stepmother represents meanness and jealousy, while the beneficent godmother supports the girl's innate virtues by producing or procuring the necessary wealth, or female inheritance, to merit the prince's In  affection.  Perrault's "Le Petit Chaperon rouge" ("Little Red Riding  Hood"), which has numerous variants in the popular tradition,2 3 the grandmother is killed and therefore unable to help her beloved granddaughter. Although the overt moral and dramatic interest lies in the action between the little girl and the wolf, there is, in the oral French folk tale, "Conte de la Mere Grand" (the conte  traditionnel  researched by Paul Delarue^ 4 from which Perrault made his adaptation) a curious communion ritual involving the grandmother. The daughter is sent by her mother to take some bread and milk to tier grandmother. Meeting the wolf along the way, she artlessly tells him. her destination. He races off, arrives at the grandmother's house, k i l l s the old woman, and sets aside some of her flesh and a bottle of her blood. When Red Riding Hood arrives, the wolf, before attempting to seduce her, suggests she eat some of the meat and drink some wine. The helpful cat, the old woman's "familiar," chastises the little girl fo»r eating her grandmother's flesh and blood. Thus warned. Red Riding Hood becomes frightened and alert. She begs to go outside to relieve herself before coming to bed. Tying a cord to her ankle, the wolf reluctantly agrees; she quickly attaches the cord to a tree outside escapes (Loury 33).  ^nd  54 In the Perrault  version,  references  to grandmother's  flesh  and  blood as meat and wine have been eliminated. Wearing a red hood, the little girl ignores her mother's warnings as she goes through the forest to take the gifts to the grandmother. When she meets the wolf, she tells him where she is going. He runs ahead, kills the grandmother, takes her place, and eats the girl. Perrault appends a moral warning to young girls about the dangers of seducers. Zipes concludes that the little peasant girl of the folk tale is "forthright, brave, and shrewd. She knows how to use her wits to escape preying beasts." In contrast, Perrault's Little Red Riding Hood is "spoiled, gullible, and helpless" ... the tale's moral "simply warns children to be more alert and to beware of strangers" (9). The Grimm Brothers' recounting  added a second episode, which  introduces the male hero as protector. After the wolf has eaten the grandmother and little girl, a woodcutter intervenes and saves both by cutting open the wolf's stomach. Having learned that the wolf is dangerous. Little Red Cap and her granny sew stones into the wolf's stomach, and the wolf dies. In the Grimm tale, she is reprieved by the male rescuer: a woodcutter, hunter or gamekeeper.  In this version.  Little Red Cap is even more "the naive, helpless, pretty little girl who must be punished for her transgression, which is spelled out even more clearly as disobedience and indulgence in sensual pleasures," as Zipes underscores in his analysis (16). Without the protection of the male heroic figure and her grandmother, "she is lost and unable to cope with foreign  or strange elements in her surroundings" (16). Both Perrault,  writing from the aristocratic or haute bourgeoise homme  civilise,  and the Grimms' enforcement  perspective of  middle-class  of  the  codes.  55 create a helpless, spoiled little girl who is, in Zipes' words, a "projection of male phantasy in a literary discourse considered to be civilized and aimed at curbing the natural [especially  [sexual] inclinations of children"  girls] (13).  In Perrault's tale, the little girl is a victim of the seducer, who triumphs. The perils of the forest  are emphasized, highlighting the  conflict between the female's innocent play and worldly dangers. "Dans le code de la sexualite, pour Perrault, la Foret c'est le Monde," Lilyane Moury asserts, " ... mais surtout les salons mondains, la vie mondaine et ses manifestations,  ou se produisent  les rencontres  entre  innocentes  jeunes filles et males sans scrupules (76-77). In other words, the forest symbolizes the world of seduction in which the "game" of love is played. Hers is the sin of ignorance, but in the natural (courtly) world she is made  a victim  nonetheless.  As has been discussed by Bruno Bettelheim^^ and others, the little girl's red hood, the color of emotion, passion, and blood, signals her impending sexual initiation as well as the onset of menstruation and her biological readiness to leave girlhood. At the beginning of the story, she leaves the exclusively feminine world of her  affectionate  mother and grandmother and meets the wolf, who does not love her, but desires to devour her. What is "killed" is the little girl as selfcontained  maiden.  She has lost the advantage of any help or advice which might have been provided by her grandmother, who made the red hood indicating a continuity between the two. In the French phallic code which replaced Vamour  courtois,  bourgeois  the blossoming of the  young girl's own desire must be strictly controlled, a process in which  56 the old woman/grandmother  figure's  role might be ambiguous  — as  exemplified by De Meung's La Vieille. In what Michel Foucault has termed  the  "pedagogization  which focuses  of children's sex,"^^ the story's  on the wolf-girl  relationship,  message,  reminds adult readers  that  a young girl's sexual maturation must be carefully managed in order to preserve  her  value.  From a woman's perspective, there are other issues of crucial importance, Although  which revolve around  Moury  considers  the  the young  grandmother's  girl and the  grandmother.  death  a  merely  precursor  of the girl's fate, I think more is at stake. Not only has the young girl lost a powerful source of cathected, or psychic, energy, she has also lost her connection to her own generativity and matrilineal bonds. For Little Red Riding Hood, the death of her grandmother can be interpreted  as the death of the little girl's independence and  autonomy;  henceforth she will be dominated by her identity as a sexual object of desire. At adolescence, the young woman begins to be identified  in  terms of the men around her. Her opportunities are defined by her relationships to men. In the patriarchal world, entry into the arena of desire often spells the end of the girl's self-awareness; it is the period in which she learns to make her desirability to men the central focus of her life and the measure of her worth. The risks of losing her "autonomy of desire," her ability to know and act upon her desire, represented  by the seducer's killing of  the grandmother,  are as  dangerous to her psychological well-being as her seduction is to her social  worthiness. In contrast to Perrault's moral tale, the strange communion in the  conte  traditionnel,  in which the mother's gifts of nurturing bread and  57 milk are set aside by the wolf for the meat and wine of erotic love is an ancient element in the hero's (or heroine's) journey. The meat and wine, however, are, in truth, the flesh and blood of the girl's grandmother, who is the sacrificial  victim. This  communion,  paradoxically, represents the sacrifice of the old woman for new life, the identification  between the old woman and young girl as the "same,"  and the sacrifice of the id, as ego consciousness begins to develop. The result of the grandmother's sacrifice is that the girl "wakes up" to the danger of annihilation which she faces and, using her wits to deceive the wolf, contrives her escape. The oral folk tale, then, presents elements  which retain  functions  — elements which have been excised from the Perrault and  Grimm  some of the Crone's  ancient  life-renewing  versions.  Interpretation of this folk tale has been fruitful twentieth-century  perspectives.  Further  discussion  of  from "Little  many Red  Riding  Hood," including Helene Cixous's reading of the grandmother in "Le Sexe ou la tete," will emerge again in Chapters 5 and 6. The  Death-bringing  Crone  While Boethius and Christine de Pisan evoked the archetypal powers of Sapientia as comforter and guide in times of despair and death, the Crone goddess's most sacred role is that of destroyer,  freeing  up energy for new life. Inspiring fear and a certain respect, Atropos is the enemy who cuts the thread of life, which Clotho and Lachesis spin. Atropos, the death-bringing  Crone, is a constant  reminder and  rationale  for enjoying youth and life's pleasures to the fullest while one may.  As  Hecate, the Crone has been associated with sorcery, evil, and the chthonic  underworld,  a relationship which  has permitted  Catholic  and  58 Protestant  inquisitors  "superfluous"  to torture and  old women  enabling the confiscation  burn hundreds  as sacrificial  scapegoats,  and appropriation  of thousands suppressing  of  "heresy,"  of their goods, and  curtailing their means of livelihood as healers. Both De Meung's La Vieille and Little Red Riding Hood's grandmother operate in the private sphere, the domain of erotic love, where male and female meet for sexual energizing and barter. In L e Roman de la Rose and Perrault's fairy tale, the old woman, or grandmother,  is associated  with guarding  virginity, a task about which, from  the young  girl's  valuable  various motives, she is ambivalent.  The old bawd's sexuality, connected as it is with her undesirable body, is presented as comic and repugnant, her affirmation and  self-serving.  The bourgeois  significantly, is killed  grandmother  of eros  is merely  greedy  ineffectual  and,  off.  Yet as the elderly converge with death, the Crone's body may become the universal comment  body. Elaine Marks makes the  insightful  that,  at the end, sexual difference fades and [that] the body that remains is the unrestrained, uncontrolled body of the old woman. It is precisely the body that Western culture ... [has] labored assiduously to hide. (199) If the feminization  of institutionalized old age includes not only  females but also aging males (who lose their "masculine" potency and become more "feminine"), then human destiny leads to the Crone's body. Implied in Marks's observation is the perception that, as all human life emerges from the mother, so it merges into thingness/(no)thingness  in the body of the Crone. The (no)thingness of  the Crone's body results in abjection, as described by Julia Kristeva and  59 illustrated in the negation of the Crone by Freud and Jacques Lacan. With negation and abjection come loss of voice, discussed in the next chapter.  60  NOTES ^Augustine's theology was devoted to the formation of Christian doctrine and, to a certain extent, to the integration into Christian doctrine of those teachings of Pagan moral philosophy which were congruent. ^In the construct of "masculine" and "feminine" domains, and their respective qualities, there has been much debate about whether these are complementary or hierarchical. Indeed, a major difference between Freud and Jung's analyses of the psyche or unconscious revolves around the issue of Jung's anima-animus complementarity and Freud's polarized hierarchy, dominated by the father. The American mythologist, Joseph Campbell, follows Jungian thinking in according complementarity to his interpretations of mythological thinking, while Simone de Beauvoir has tacitly accepted the hierarchical position as the substratum of "Le Deuxieme Sexe." ^ Theologically the young/old "Mother Church."  woman is both the "bride of Christ" and  the  '^ In Ernst Robert Curtius. European Literature and the Latin Middle Ages, from the German by Willard R. Trask (New York: Harper & Row, 1953).  trans,  ^As the Crone, the old woman carries within her archetype rejuvenation and new b e g i n n i n g s , as well as the reminder of mortality. Indeed, mythic archetypes themselves demonstrate this oscillation between aging and rejuvenation, becoming at times merely worn-out cliches, or seeming to disappear altogether, only to re-emerge again with new vigor, new life, in a different epoch. ^In The Discarded Image, C.S. Lewis writes that, "Though the De Consolatione was certainly written" after Boethius' fall, "I do not think it was written in a dungeon nor in daily expectation of the executioner. ... When he wrote the book he may have known that his life was in some danger. I do not think he despaired of it. Indeed he complains at the outset that death cruelly neglects wretches who would gladly die" (77). Nevertheless, Boethius was imprisoned at Pavia and executed in 524, the same year that the Consolation was written. Richard Green, editor and translator of the Consolation, maintains that Boethius wrote his work while in prison (Boethius ix) and describes Boethius' use of the prison metaphor, making his literal imprisonment a metaphor for the imprisonment of the soul in the body (xxiii). ^11 and 0 are the first letters of the Greek words for the two divisions of philosophy: theoretical and practical (Boethius, The Consolation of Philosophy, trans, with introduction and notes by Richard Green, 4). ^Boethius was charged with treason protecting the Roman Senate.  for  desiring  the freedom  of  Rome  and  6 1  ^The twentieth-century theologian Paul Tillich claims that "revelation through the Virgin Mary has come to an end, ceasing to create a revelatory situation, at least for Protestants" (Daly 90). In an effort to stamp out attempts by women to envision a divine role for the feminine or to participate more fully in the Catholic church hierarchy. Pope John Paul II has recently urged two visiting American bishops to combat a "bitter, ideological" feminism, which, he said, has led to "forms of nature worship and the celebration of myths and symbols" usurping traditional celebrations of the Christian faith. At the same time, he has reiterated his firm opposition to the ordination of women as priests. ^ E u r o p e a n Christian theology's name for the dark underworld Germanic goddess, Hel, who ruled the underworld (Dexter, 99).  derives  from  ^ ^ A scholastic at the University of Paris, de Meung also translated Boethius' consolatione philosophiae into French. 12«^jjaj remained of youthful beauty in that shriveled this as "Her beauty gone/ Ugly had she become" (9).  body?"  Robbins  the  De  translates  1 ^she clasps him tight and gives him many a kiss. But, if she'll heed my counsel, she will pay Attention to no thing except her price. "(Robbins 285) ^ ^ h e thing that's dearest bought is dearest But what men get for nothing they despise.  held; (Robbins  286)  l % h a t women of this time were often very economically dependent — as they have been throughout patriarchal history — is corroborated by Christine de Pisan (1365-1430?), who wrote ballads mourning the early death of her beloved husband and her own resulting precarious financial and social situation. Widowed in 1390 at twenty-five, de Pisan was left with three children, her widowed mother, and a niece to support. Although her father and husband had been well-favored at court, her father's pensions had been cut following the death of Charles V. To support her dependents, she became the first professional woman writer in Europe. ^ ^Christine de Pisan's ballad, "Seulette sui," written around 1390 shortly after death of her husband, alludes to the social and economic plight of a widow. ^^... these gems, this fan These buttons which he [the Lover] sends you as a Not to make mention of the ornament Which he will give you soon. (Robbins 255)  gift;  18 "Anyone who follows the advice in this book is going to lead a spiteful (translation mine). 1 ^E. Hicks, ed. Le debat sur  the  life"  Le Roman de la rose. (Paris: H. Champion, 1977), 145.  62  2 ^As part of a second, Germanic, wave of interest in folk stories, major collections of folk tales, taken from oral popular tales but rewritten as literary stories for a middle-class audience, appeared in the nineteenth century. Among those are the well-known collections by the Grimm brothers, Andrew Lang, and Hans Christian Anderson. ^ ^Writers such as Charles Perrault, Mme d'Aulnoy, Mme Leprince de Beaumont ("Beauty and the Beast"), Mile Bernard, and Mile Lheritier excelled in this form, often adapting orally transmitted folk tales — stories from the popular tradition told to children by their nurses and maids — to suit a more polished courtly audience, with the aim of amusing and educating at the same time. 2^"The homme civilise was the former homme courtois, whose polite manners and style of speech were altered to include bourgeois qualities of honesty, diligence, responsibility, and asceticism" (Zipes 11-12). ^ -^ In The Trials and Tribulations of Little Red Riding Hood: Versions of the Tale in Sociocultural Context, Jack Zipes has collected and analyzed 31 French, British, American, German, Italian, French-Canadian, and Chinese versions of the tale, beginning with Charles Perrault"s 1697 version and finishing with a 1979 Chinese variant, "Chiang Mi" or "Goldflower and the Bear." 2 '*In discussing the origins of the "Little Red Riding Hood" tale, Zipes cites research by Marianne Rumpf on European warning tales of the Middle Ages, stories which involved hostile forces — an ogre, ogress, man-eater, wild person, werewolf, or wolf — threatening unprotected children. "The social function of the story was to show how dangerous it could be for children to talk with strangers in the woods or for strangers to enter the home" (Zipes 2). Rumpf points out that superstitious tales about werewolves flourished more in France during early Christianity and the Middle Ages than in any other European country. She further maintains that wherever oral versions of the LRRH tale were found later in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, they were primarily found in those regions where werewolf trials were most common in the fifteenth, sixteenth and seventeenth centuries (Doctoral dissertation: Rotkdppen: Eine vergleichende Mdrchenuntersuchung [University of Gottingen, 1951], 76-84). She and Marc Soriano (Les Contes de Perrault: Culture savante et traditions populaires [Paris: Gallimard, 1968]) conclude that Perrault's literary tale of 1697 was probably derived from werewolf stories circulating in Touraine, where his mother grew up. Paul Delarue's oral version of LRRH was recorded in Nievre, about 1885 (Zipes 4-5); see "Conte de la m^re grande," in Delarue, Le Conte populaire frangais, 37374. See also Zipes (5-6) and Lilyane Mourey, Grimm et Perrault: histoire, structure, mise en texte des contes (Paris: Archives des lettres modernes, 1978, 31-32) for text and analysis of "Conte de la mere grande," including a comparison of story elements in the two tales. Many of the oral folk tale elements were omitted or refined by Perrault. ^ ^ See The Uses of Enchantment: York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1976). 2 6See The History  of Sexuality  The Meaning  (New  York:  and  Importance  Pantheon,  1978)  of Fairy  104.  Tales  (New  63  The  Chapter "Non": Negation  Father's  3 and  Psychological The  Phallocentric  Bias  The discourse of  of  Denial  Crone  in  Discourse  Psychological  psychoanalysis  of the  Discourse  continues  to reinforce  patriarchal  values, shifting the locus of discussion from theological ("Law of the Father") and philosophical  discourses to the inner structure of the psyche.  In psychoanalytical discourse, it is no longer an external god or a systematically  constructed  and subjugates  belief  the "feminine,"  system  which  privileges  but the very functioning  the possibilities of Freudian and Lacanian  "masculine"  of the  psyche, in its conscious, preconscious, and unconscious Weighing  the  individual  dimensions.  psychoanalysis  for  feminism, Elizabeth Grosz comments that "... while providing arguably the most  sophisticated  itself  is nevertheless  assumptions"  and  convincing  phallocentric  account  of  subjectivity,  in its perspectives,  psychoanalysis  methods  and  (3).  Describing  women's  fascination  with  and Lacan's corresponding  fascination  with women,  "women's  psychoanalysis  fascination  with  psychoanalysis^  has  and Freud's  Grosz writes  enabled  that  psychoanalysis  to  be used to help provide an explanation, or the beginnings of one, of women's  social and psychical  positions  within patriarchal  cultures"  But, she adds, psychoanalysis is also based upon unspoken perspectives  and  interests.  The assumption  passivity is one of its fundamental context  of  misogyny, psychoanalysis  culturally  constructed  feminine  repression.  of  Jacques  masculine  "castration"  and  principles. Existing in an historical articulates  by negative definitions. When  women's  (7).  Lacan  how and why women  are  It argues the necessity  for  appropriates  the  entire  of symbolic expression to the "masculine" domain, the "feminine"  realm is  64 silenced,  theoretically  language. language  without  the means of expressing herself  in  rational  One might call it a kind of castration of the tongue. Instead of which  utterances  communicates  become  thoughts  incomprehensible  and  meaning,  croakings.  feminine  Deprived  of  speech,  forbidden to act as subject, and relegated to the nether world of "imaginary" The  passions,  Freudian  the  feminine  Crone: The  is repressed  and  denigrated.  Id and I  In Freud's conceptualization of the id, Eros and death, qualities embodied by the Maiden and the Crone, intertwine; the tension  between  the two creates the id's energy, which fuels the psyche. Here (although it is misleading to speak of the id as though it were a locus or a point), the binary structure of contradictory opposites does not obtain, time and space are not linear, and memories do not dim (Freud  1933a: 104).  "The id is ... a chaos, a cauldron of seething excitement," according to Freud in his analysis of the structure of the unconsciousness. "We  suppose  that it is somewhat in direct contact with somatic processes, and takes over from  them instinctual  needs and gives them mental expression,  but  we cannot say in what substratum this contact is made," he continues. The two basic instincts of Eros (love, connectedness) and death (separation, destruction), which exist in dynamic tension, "fill it [the id] with energy, but it has no instinctual needs in accordance with the pleasure principle. The laws of logic — above all, the law of contradiction — do not hold for processes in the id" (104). In this description of the id, I want to call attention not only to Freud's concept of the id itself, but to the metaphor of the cauldron to which the id is compared, and its relation to the Crone's characteristics. Freud links the cauldron with chaos, two images which arouse fear, or  65 aversion, in rational discourse. Chaos is that state of primal defined  by Webster's dictionary as a "confused  and infinite  confusion  mass, of formless  space, supposed to have existed before the  matter  ordered  u n i v e r s e . "2 Because of its formlessness and lack of order, it is antithetical to the rational mind, which classifies, sorts for "Same", and acts as a "sieve," retaining and ordering that which fits into its grid system and allowing to fall through the spaces (into the abyss or unconscious)  that  which does not. Chaos is linked mythologically with the chthonic forces  of evil, the mother-of-all-things,  feminine  Tiamat, the "darkness upon  the  face of the deep ... the face of the waters" (Gen. 1: 2); the formlessness before the Father God's orderly creation by the "Word" (Logos). One of the oldest symbols of the Crone as tri-partitite Mother Goddess, the cauldron is the symbol of the Mother's creative forces, the cosmic vessel, or "soup," out of which all things are born. Barbara Walker claims that the female symbol of the cauldron was "usually described as the source of life, wisdom, inspiration, understanding, and magic" (100). It has been likened to the "ubiquitous 'pot of blood' in the hand of Triple Kali" (India's Kali Ma, the Terrible Mother in her Destroyer Crone phase) representing  her primordial  uterine Ocean of Blood that provided  original life energy for the creation"(100). It is the cauldron/cup, with blood-as-wine, the primordial  energy of  the filled  life.  Freud's description of the id implies that it is, in a sense, vessellike, filled by the instincts with life/death energy. It is linked with pleasure (Eros, womb creation), rather than reason (Logos, the word as creator). primordial  Freud's concept of the id invokes these ancient symbols of a feminine  creative  power,  an invocation  of the characteristics pf t^he id does not dispel:  which  his  description  66  Contradictory impulses exist side by side without neutralizing each other or drawing apart ... There is nothing in the id which can be compared to negation, and we are astonished to find in it an exception to the philosophers' assertion that space and time are necessary forms of our mental acts. In the id there is nothing corresponding to the idea of time, no recognition of the passage of time, and (a thing which is very remarkable and awaits adequate attention in philosophic thought) no alteration of mental processes by the passage of time ... Conative impulses which have never got beyond the id, and even impressions which have been pushed down into the id by repression, are virtually immortal and are preserved for whole decades as though they had only recently occurred ... Naturally, the id knows no values, no good and evil, no morality. (104-105) Ascribed to the id are processes which seem remarkably similar to images of the feminine  "Other," as described in the masculine symbolic  order. I retained Freud's references to philosophic discourse in the passage quoted above in order to highlight the contrast between  the  description of id processes and the norms of philosophic discourse, which Luce Irigaray identifies  as the backbone of patriarchal discourse:  "c'est  bien le discours philosophique ... en tant qu'il fait la loi k tout autre, qu'il constitue le discours des discours" (72).^ 1 am not inferring that Freud's id is simply a description of the masculine concept of the "feminine," but I am suggesting that the "feminine" construct has been endowed masculine imagery with some of the id's  by  characteristics.  On the other hand, the ego, which Freud describes as that portion of the id which is modified by exposure to external forces of the outside world, functions  according  "between desire and action, It is endowed  with  to the "reality principle," the procrastinating  normative  "masculine"  factors  interpolating of thought"  characteristics,  (106).  especially  reasoning, logic, and the ability to assess external forces objectively.  "In  67 popular language," he writes, "we may say that the ego stands for reason and circumspection,  while the id stands for the untamed passions" (107)  and operates according Indeed, the ego/id the infant's  connection  to the  "pleasure  principle."  begins in an undifferentiated with the mother,  with experience of the external  state, analogous  and commences  to  world, signaling the child's  to  differentiate separation  from the mother. We can begin to discern shadowy outlines of the ancient hero's myth, in which the heroic sage must experience death and rebirth by "dying" to his former life, especially to his maternal beginnings, and being reborn again with greater knowledge or wisdom. We can also distinguish, both in the heroic myth and in psychoanalytic theory, a process by which the masculine ego's separation from favor  of movement towards the external world of  "the mother" in  "the father"  suppression of the feminine as a necessary condition of The superego, or severe "parent," maintains behaviors, without regard to any difficulties  normalizes  autonomy.  "certain norms of  coming from the id or the  external world" (109). It is the enforcing agent of the "Law of the Father," causing the ego, which is the mediating agent between the id's desires, the external  world's  realities, and the superego's  behavioral  standards,  to  feel shame, guilt or fear when its dictates are not lived up to. The superego penetrates into the id. "As heir to the Oedipus complex it has, after all intimate connections with the id," Freud notes, adding that the differentiation  between the ego and the superego may be "the most  insecure and from the phylogenetic point of view the most recent" (110111). Since the severe superego and the instinctual, passionate id have the ability to interconnect, it is possible to envision the threat that this union can pose to the ego's strength and independence; indeed,  perhaps  68 the myth of the hero's journey, to a certain extent, mirrors the "heroic" ego's quest to master and balance these forces. It is also possible to envision a kind of connection or relationship between the  superego's  harsh enforcement of the "Law of the Father" and the repressed "feminine," found in the id, a relationship that, to some extent, might circumvent the ego. In any case, the ego and superego, roughly similar to "adult" and "parent," are masculine domains, while the id is the locus of the "feminine," in which are contained the mother and female  child.  Although not explicitly mentioned in Freud's theory, the Crone, or woman past reproductive capacity, can be seen to be a repressed  construct  linking id and superego, no longer erotic or nurturing yet representing a superego "parent" figure through her connection with "the law of death." Oedipus'  Emerging  Masculine  Ego  Through Freud's use of the Oedipal myth to dramatize the masculine ego's individuation,  the repression of the feminine  controlling her libidinal drive is posited as essential for the  by development  of both the individual and of civilization. Freud's Oedipal conflict the family  drama from  presents  the perspective of the masculine imaginary.  The  family triad, consisting of the father, mother and child, becomes the model upon which the psychoanalytic the father  structure is based. In this model,  must emerge as the dominant figure,  interposing  himself  between the original unity of mother and child. The child takes for his infantile "object-choice" his mother. "The first choice of object in mankind," Freud writes, "is regularly an incestuous one, directed to the mother and sister of men" (1916:293). He cites mythological  incestuous  marriage practices of the gods and historical practices of early civilizations such as the Egyptians and Incas. "Incest with the mother" is  69 one of Oedipus' crimes, he avers, and "patricide the other" (294): culture and civilization are built around the avoidance of the former  through  ritualized exchange of women and guilt for the latter which assures the rule of the father. As the small child begins the process of "weaning" from the mother, the father  interposes himself  between the child and  mother  to deflect the son's erotic attraction for his mother, instituting the "Law of the Father," and guiding his son into maturity. In Freud's treatments  of  the  pre-Oedipal  mother,  as  Madelon  unsystematic  Sprengnether  comments, she "emerges as a figure of subversion, a threat to masculine identity as well as to patriarchal culture" (5). In the family setting, men and women learn the socially constructed  characteristics  of  "masculinity"  and  "femininity,"  carrying  these with them into the wider social context. Although Freud hypothesizes that male and female infants are similar in their energy and the strength of their drives, the female, from  libidinal  the beginning,  must undergo severe repression, in order to achieve that state of passivity,  timidity  and  "feminine"  (1933(b):581).  submissive  and  receptivity Freud  self-sacrificing,  that  properly  describes thus  women  re-stating  characterizes and  the  mothers  Jehovah's  curse  as upon  Eve.4 Women who wish to engage in "male" projects are thought to be suffering from  "penis envy," or desire for the father's sexual organ,  regarded by the female child as more potent than the mother's lack of such an organ. The male, on the other hand, continues to be encouraged to know and act upon his desires. Eva Figes claims that men in power have created "woman" in order to ensure that power and that in a patriarchal  society, male dominance must be maintained at all cost  "because the person who dominates cannot conceive of  any  alternative  70 but to be dominated in turn" (Nye 97). In the patriarchal social context, the symbols of the Mother Goddess are turned upside down, and what was once thought to be the source of all life, death, being and creation is now construed as a lack.^ In  the patriarchal  mother"6  construction  of  motherhood,  the  "good-enough  is a cipher. Freudian feminine repression becomes self-  abnegation, as the sacrificial  mother submerges herself  interests of the child. According to developmental Winnicott,  solely in the  psychologist  "the essence of good mothering is the mother's  D.W.  non-existence.  She echoes and reflects the design of the child; nothing intrudes between his [sic] wishes and hers" (Nye 131). As he grows older, she retreats, allowing him to move into the world of the father where he gains access to independence. He then participates in the patriarchal drama of father/son social  rivalry, guilt, and the exchange of women upon which the  community  rests. Imprisoned  in the private sphere of nurture  and  caretaking, women can not actively participate in this drama. Freud  believed  that  from  puberty  onward,  "the human  individual  must devote himself to the great task of freeing himself from the parents; and only after this detachment is accomplished can he cease to be a child and become a member of the social community" (1916:295). The son, symbolically  represented  by Oedipus, must free  himself  from  his  libidinal  attachment to his mother in favor of an "external love object in reality" and either reconcile himself with his father, if there has been  antagonism,  or free himself from the father's domination, if he has become too subservient.  We may discern  husband/father  the  outlines  of  in the mother/wife that  archaic  Goddess and her "year-king," the rising-dying  and  marriage  dying between  the  god who must be  sacrificed  71 and replaced to ensure renewal of the land and people. At the same time, we see reflected,  in the metaphor of the family, the psychological journey  of the masculine ego, which must both disengage itself from  submersion  in the id and prevent its domination by the superego, in order to become an autonomous individual acting in the "real" world. It is tempting to speculate that the great drama being enacted long ago in the works of the early Greeks, such as Plato's cave allegory and Sophocles' Oedipus,  indicated  the emergence  and development  particular conception of a masculine ego as separate from others, autonomous, and self-actualizing.  of a  nature and  At the same time, there  to have been a corresponding movement to repress and define feminine,  including  the development of the binary system of  seems  the paired  symbolic opposites in which the masculine quality is positive, active, and stalwart, while the feminine opposite is negative, passive, and timid. Whether this "ego development" is cultural — the result of the IndoEuropean  cultural  patterns (discussed  male as separate and dominant  in Chapter  1), which promoted  the  — or evolutionary, whether the masculine  ego is biologically determined or socially constructed is still open to question.  However,  especially  both  arguments  by the mythological  have  patterns  groups succeed each other and gain  been  contextually  by which different  shaped, cultural  ascendancy.  Remarking that "we cannot fail to be struck by the similarity between the process of civilization and the iibidinal development of the individual,"  (1930:34)  Freud moves beyond  the family  triad to describe  the beginnings of civilization — from a patriarchal perspective. In Freud's account, "primal man" discovers that he can improve his lot by "working," (36) and especially  by banding together cooperatively  with other men to  72 achieve  greater  tasks.  His  theory  Jehovah's curse upon Adam after  reinscribes,  perhaps  unconsciously,  the latter's adventures in the Garden in  which he is condemned to toil and till the fields because he listened to his wife and ate the "fruit" (Gen. 2:17, 23). Even earlier, Freud asserts, in man's ape-like prehistory, he had adopted the habit of forming  families  (36), spurred on by his discovery that it was convenient for the satisfaction of his sexual urges to have women around. "When this happened, the male acquired a motive for keeping the female  or,  speaking more generally, his sexual objects, near him; while the female, who did not want to be separated from her helpless young, was obliged, in their interests, to remain with the stronger male" (36). Thus the bases for family unity are: 1) women as available sexual objects for gratification;  2) the mother's sense of responsibility for her children,  which causes her to stay with the male for their protection; 3) helpers for work. The father's will and power are unrestricted until the sons discover that, by banding together, they can overpower him. This description is characterized  by  elements  which  the  invading  Indo-European  warriors  brought with them as they flowed down into eastern Europe and the Near East and overran the Neolithic Mother Goddess cultures, described in Chapter 1. In short, in his model of the family, of women as sexual objects, of the familial basis for culture and civilization, Freud recapitulates the Judeo-Christian model of the divine Father God who is parent, lawgiver, and source of being, a model which itself is an outgrowth of the more ancient conquest of the Mother Goddess cultures by those of the "sky-gods." The patriarchal model cannot posit the feminine as acting subject, but merely as object-of-desire.  Freud can only  ask, "what do women want?" because in his model, in order to suppress  73 the Great Mother, establish the rule of God the Father, and foster the masculine ego in its heroic quest for autonomy and dominance,  women's  voice must not be heard. "As Freud grows older,"  writes Sprengnether,  "he associates  women  not only with the beginning of life but also with its end, so that the figure of the mother fuses with that of death. In his concept of the death instinct, which aims to return the living entity to its inorganic origin," she continues, "he equates the body of the mother with the ultimate undoing of masculine striving and achievement" (5). This equation is not unique to Freud but is an integral element of patriarchal myth. As de Beauvoir describes, "La vieille femme, la laide ne sont pas seulement des objets sans attraits; elles suscitent une haine melee de peur. En elles se retrouve la figure inquietante de la Mere tandis que les charmes de I'Epouse sont evanouis" (1949:260).  Here we can discern the shadowy figure of the  ugly Crone, the aspect of the Mother who reabsorbs all creation into herself at the end of life.  Psychoanalysis' phallic masculinity,  by Sprengnether as "the cornerstone of patriarchal  described  culture" (5), rests  upon lack and loss, epitomized by separation from the mother and lack of reproductive  ability, reinforced  into the mother's The  Imaginary The  Oedipal  body through Mother's  French  theory  by the ancient fear  of  human  of  Lack  Jacques  psycho-sexual  In the Freudian and Lacanian  back  death.  Lack  psychoanalyst  of engulfment  Lacan  interpreted  development  psychoanalytic  Freud's  in linguistic  terms.  or linguistic systems, there  are two major relationships of the male ego to the Mother  hypothesized,  both of which contribute to the Mother's rejection and abjection. The first, already discussed at length, is the oedipal need of the male child to  74 separate from  union with the mother in order to develop an autonomous  ego and establish his adult masculinity as modeled by the father.  The  second, alluded to in my previous discussion of the pre-historic Great Mother mythology and patriarchal suppression of the Crone, is the masculine perception to himself  "lack" and the accompanying  wish to  appropriate  the "magical" reproductive and creative powers of the  feminine. In Symbolic Bettelheim  of  asserts  Wounds:  Puberty  Rites  and the Envious  Male,  that  We are hardly in need of proof that men stand in awe of the procreative power of women, that they wish to participate in it, and that both emotions are found readily in Western society — on the whole, men, by virtue of the very patriarchal dominance which puts them on top, must repress the extent of their longing for the simplicities and indisputable potentialities of being a women, whereas women are much freer to express their envy of the male's equipment and roles. (10-11) Discussing his study of pre-literate societies' initiation rites, he concludes: "I became more and more impressed with ... the premise that one feels  envy in regard  to the sexual  organs  and functions  sex  of the other"  [italics his] (19). Rites of male circumcision and subincision are cited as examples of male rituals which imitate the young girl's  menstrual  bleeding, an outward sign of the feminine reproductive ability. Male envy of the female  reproductive capacity is less discussed and more  repressed  in Western society than female envy of the powers conferred by the male organ, according  to Bettelheim,  because  It seems that in any society, envy of the dominant easily observed. In societies where men play the role, the envy of males and with it of the penis is admitted, more openly expressed and more easily consensus is that it is desirable to be a man. This  sex is the more more important more readily recognized; the drives  75 underground men's envy of women since it is contrary to professed mores and therefore looked upon as unnatural and immoral. (56) Although Lacan overtly privileges the male, underlying his thesis of the phallic signifier as "lack" is an implied usurpation of the feminine, characterized by "lack of lack," i.e.,  whole and complete. This ambiguity, it  seems to me, contributes to the confusion, particular, regarding the Lacanian  amongst French feminists in  stance. Indeed, in some respects  Lacan  resembles the Promethean seducer (or Little Red Riding Hood's wolf) would steal the creative feminine for himself; his characterization  who  by  Irigaray, Cixous, Gallop and Clement as "seductive" in no way dispels this image.^ In the Lacanian system, built upon the play of "lack," the physical male organ is denied the importance given it by Freud. The Phallus is an empty signifier,  a symbol of the power, privilege and other  which possession of the real organ conferred  attributes  upon the mythical  (dead)  Father, whose castrated sons can only aspire to phallic power. According to Lacan, the phallus is the transcendental signifier,  reinforcing  of the Father,"S in the symbolic order which governs language and meaning. The pre-oedipal  the "Law  significance,  mother is supposed to possess an  imaginary phallus. Lacan arbitrarily, or at least oppositionally, locates realm of the mother in the "Imaginary," a domain of non-verbal  unity  between  stage.  mother  and  child  corresponding  to Freud's  pre-Oedipal  the  Her access to language, symbol and meaning is precluded by her exclusion from the "Symbolic" order, which belongs to the father (lest she remain a "phallic mother").^ "Imaginary" public/private  orders  In the opposition of "Symbolic" and  can be discerned  spheres, inscribed  the pervasive  construction  in the linguistic realm  as the  of Father's  76 "Word" and the Mother's silence. Lacan postulates that in order to leave the orbit of maternal desire, the child must come to see the mother as "castrated," i.e., lacking the phallus, or signifier of desire, although it may be more accurate to observe that denigration of the mother appears to be ritually required by the patriarchal sphere of  privilege.  Reproducing  code for acceptance into the male  Freud's  Oedipal  pattern, Lacan's  father  comes between the mother and her desire (child) and the child and his desire (mother), interposing  the strictures of culture, society  and  language. The child's acquisition of language is accompanied by a sense of loss and characterized  by a never-to-be-fulfilled  realm  plenitude.^o  of  pre-Oedipal  desire to return to the  If awareness of gender for the male  child is characterized by "lack" — the envious realization that he lacks his mother's organs of reproduction — it also establishes that his phallic organ has "presence" and confers  social privileges associated with the  Symbolic order of the Father.i ^ Thus, as the child moves into adulthood, acquiring selfhood power through  the fulfillment  of desires, both psychoanalytic  linguistic discourses, in accordance with philosophical, historical  discourse, establish  encompassing transcendental  and  and  theological  and  masculine hegemony at an alllevel. In the closed  "logical" system of each  discourse's structure, the feminine is reduced to "no-thing," the  "other,"  who is powerless to speak her desire. Without a phallus, without a name of her own, she has no identity except through a man. Feminine repression takes place not only at the philosophical, theological historical levels, but now is internalized and concretized description "required"  of  human  development  itself.  as an innate psychological  Feminine  within  repression  and scientific  is now  necessity within the development  of  77 each human being and, by extension, culture  and  civilization.  In addition,  "required" Lacanian  of the feminine in the deepest signification  for the development of theory embeds  repression  levels of language.  Andrea  Nye, for example, concludes that, "If patriarchy is a symbolic universe, then no one better than Lacan expressed its surreal qualities ... the mirrors, the intricate games, the convoluted  turnings of always  failed  relations, where no one ever manages to reach anyone else. No one better described the horror of it" (141). The concentration  of psychoanalysis  upon the Mother and  Father,  the nuclear family structure, and a binary construct of gender roles tends to exclude or minimize other structures psychological  and  Lacanian  symbolic  and possibilities.  constructs  Christian Jehovah's suppression of Eve, defined reproduction.  In Le Deuxieme  Sexe,  of the position of women as "VAutre" complicated  reinscribe  Freudian the Judeo-  by her sexuality and  de Beauvoir, whose brilliant analysis in patriarchal  by her acquiescence in existentialism's  societies  is  phallic bias,  somewhat states  that, "C'est par la maternite que la femme accomplit integralement son destin physiologique" (290). Lacan emphasizes the crucial role of reproduction in the determination not only of biological sexual roles but also of social roles: L'existence, grace a la division sexuelle, repose sur la copulation, accentuee en deux poles que la tradition seculaire s'efforce de caracteriser comme le pole male et le pole femelle. C'est que la git le ressort de la reproduction. Depuis toujours, autour de cette realite fondamentale, se sont groupees, harmonisees, d'autres caracteristiques, plus ou moins liees a la finalite de la reproduction. (1964:138)12 A key word is "finality" of reproduction. Just as de Beauvoir indicated that it was nearly impossible for a mother to lead an "authentic" life of  78 independence  and  self-actualization  at the  highest  levels  (the  birthright  of males), observing that "dans le moment meme oil la femme acheve de realiser son destin feminin, elle est encore dependante" (1949:2, 317), so Lacan emphasizes the "finality"  of the reproductive roles and their  inscription in the language of the unconscious (1981:152). As de Beauvoir has  described,  women's  reproductive  creativity  merely  produces  existence, the repetitive passing on of genetic material in the  production  of yet another biological replication of the species. The "modern" view of feminine biological creativity is stripped of its ancient association higher mathematical, literary and cultural  activity.  with  By locating the  higher,  more abstract, aspects of creativity within Logos, the Word as Name of the Father,  symbolic creativity  relegating the voiceless feminine  has been appropriated  by the  to the level of instinctual  masculine,  animal  procreation. Logos, the masculine Symbolic, replaces the creativity of the Crone's cauldron and the Cosmic Womb. Thus all avenues of escape are cut off,  and the Lacanian Mother remains enshrined  in her  Madonna-and-  child silence in the realm of the Imaginary. Grandma  and  the  Wolf:  Usurpation  of  the  Creative  Feminine  In the preceding chapter, I discussed Perrault's fairy tale, "Le Petit Chaperon rouge," primarily  from  impending  the  separation  from  the young mother  girl's perspective of  through  sexual  maturation,  signaled by onset of menstruation, which is symbolized by the little red hood. At this time, the young girl moves into the masculine symbolic world as "object-of-desire."  The dangers and ambiguities for the  who both separates and does not separate from  female,  the mother and who risks  the loss of her budding autonomy through sexual possession by the male, were part of this discussion. The grandmother's relation to the girl was  79 also considered. I would like now to re-examine this tale in light of Lacan's theory of "lack" and the male's attempt to preempt the creative feminine. In the Symbolic Order, the woman past child-bearing age becomes invisible, non-existent, or a threatening  "phallic mother" who is  masculinized because she no longer reproduces. Vieille in Le Roman de la Rose,  Like de Meung's La  the grandmother in Perrault's version of  "Le Petit Chaperon rouge" is connected with the wolf, the seducer. Although her alliance is not voluntary, her consumption by the wolf, who then  impersonates  her in order  to trap  the maiden  object-of-his-desire,  indicates that the wolf, or seducer, is able to ingest the kindly, loving, caring aspects of the grandmother and then crudely imitate these in order to seduce and devour the granddaughter. the wolf  emerges triumphant.  In Perrault's  traits  version,  There are none of the redemptive  possibilities for the little girl and grandmother found in the later Brothers Grimm's tale, in which the pair is rescued by the heroic woodcutter,  and the little girl, with her grandmother,  cleverly  contrives  the wolf's fitting end by sewing stones into his stomach. In the Brothers Grimm's version, the "impostor mother" wolf is killed by the young girl and the grandmother for his temerity in trying to usurp the feminine reproductive mystery for his own ends. However, Mary O'Brien^ ^ points out that in the Grimm version, after the wolf eats the grandmother, her emergence from his belly represents a reversal of the old Crone's power as giver of life. She is both saved and reborn though a male principle, parallel to the Biblical Eve's creation by a Father God from Adam's rib. Bruno Bettelheim, in his well-known essay on "Little Red Riding Hood" in The Uses of Enchantment  (1976)  comments  that the Perrault version  is  80 "devoid of escape, recovery, and consolation; it is not — and was not intended by Perrault to be — a fairy tale," he continues, "but a cautionary story  which  deliberately  threatens  the child  with  its  anxiety-producing  ending (167). The purpose of Perrault's re-telling of this story was to appear to enforce  chaste behavior upon his young female  auditors  through fear of ruination and annihilation by the seducer from  which  there would be no recovery, while simultaneously, in his second "moralite," making fun of this moral stance for the snickering amusement  of  courtly  wolves.  In Perrault's version, the wolf is. allowed to devour the feminine in its daughter and crone aspects and, by engulfing them in his belly, impersonate the pregnant aspects of the mother. Thus, the wolf  takes  into himself the power of all three aspects of the feminine: maiden, mother, and crone — a victory which stands triumphant, although through trickery and impersonation.  The feminine  is silenced  gained  inside  wolf's belly in a role reversal that attempts to compensate for  the  masculine  "lack." Although the seducer, or false lover, is not able to break the bond of continuity  between  grandmother and granddaughter,  he is able to  take advantage of that bond to overcome the old woman's power to protect  the  granddaughter.  decoy or instrument  Indeed,  through  the  grandmother  which the seducer  is portrayed  ravishes the  as  the  young  maiden, much in the same spirit as the role of de Meung's La Vieille, who helps L'Amant gain access to the Rose. Removed from the orbit of desire, the old woman participates in the sexual game by helping the seducer obtain the object of his desire and facilitating the maiden's sexual  initiation.  8 1 Both de Meung and Perrault wrote for a courtly, worldly French audience, and their approaches  have some elements  in  common:  acceptance of the "dangerous game" of seduction as a principal feature of male/female  sexual  relations; the presentation  of  feminine  desire  for  pleasure (Red Riding Hood's gambols in the woods) as fatal to the young woman, while male desire triumphs; and the negation of  feminine  generational bonds and wisdom, which only serve to undo both  women  and aid  powers  the seducer  in appropriating  the mother's  reproductive  to himself. Generalizing to make a point, I would say that the French version of the Red Riding Hood tale and its second moral message emphasize the seductive aspect of the phallic code (the wolf) seeks to appropriate feminine  which  creativity and economic value for  itself,  while the more paternal Germanic version argues a feminine need for a heroic protector against male violence — in effect, one of the most direct means of repression.  Freudian  repression of the feminine individuation  theory reinforces  the codes of  both by rationalizing its necessity  and the development of civilization)  patriarchal (for  and by postulating  inevitability (interiorizing the locus of repression in the a priori of  the psyche  — the  biologically-determined,  post-Nietzschean  its  domain equivalent  of "God's will"). Deploying Freud's oedipal triad, Lacan attempts to suppress the "mother" by confining  her to the "Imaginary"  realm,  symbolically cutting off her tongue and thus depriving her of "voice," the ability to speak "her desire," and access to "man's" linguistic symbol- and meaning-making The  Crone's  powers.  Abjection:  The  Horrible  Power  The Crone's repression and the characterization of old women as ugly witches, loathsome hags, or invisible cast-offs  can be viewed in  82 light of Julia Kristeva's theory of the abject, analyzed in Pouvoirs Vhorreur:  un essai  excludes or repels.  sur Vabjection  de  as that which society casts out,  While her analysis of the process of abjection in the  patriarchal symbolic system is a useful one, at the same time one must be cognizant of her position vis-a-vis Lacan and Freud. As Grosz comments, Kristeva, while critical of details of Lacan's position, ultimately falls  "victim to his seductive display," actively affirming,  the  self-deconstructive, jouissant  excessive,  "not  Lacan, Lacan the 'floozie' as  Gallop calls him, but Lacan the Lawgiver" (185). Like Lacan, Kristeva affirms that the Father's Law, or oedipal triad, is one of the necessary conditions for the establishment of a culture. Both agree with Freud that the child  must  be  separated  from  maternal  dependency,  which  to suffocate or annihilate its independence, and that because of purely cultural or significatory  threatens "his  role in paternity" (185), the father  the Father's Name) should perform  this task. Both affirm  (or  the  universality or cultural necessity of the Father's Law and some oedipallike structure for a stable culture. Unlike Lacan in his problematizing of women's Kristeva views the repression of maternal  desire  (desire  mother) as a requirement for normal adult functioning.  jouissance, for/of  the  For Kristeva, the  child must come to realize the mother is not complete in herself (boundless,  omnipresent  and  omnipotent)  and  needs  something  beyond  herself. With this recognition of "lack," "he" comes to regard her as "abject,"  unworthy,  mother's abjection, toward  the father's  adulthood.  marginalized  and even repellent.  the child moves away from symbolic world  The child's  separation  Repulsed  the maternal  and a "normalized," evolves  not through  by  the  semiotic  though paternal  alienated,  83 domination (Freud) or through silencing of the mother (Lacan) but by seeing the mother as repulsive and excluding her. In Pouvoirs Vhorreur,  Kristeva  examines  the reasons for expulsion  and  de  exclusion  from the social order, a phenomenon related to the need to repress the maternal, which belongs to the realm of the semiotic choral  ^ in order to  move into the symbolic world. The abject's life, she proposes, is based not on desire (desir),  but upon exclusion (exclusion);  it relates not to the  ego, the "I" which relates subjectively to the external world as object and consciously controls the instinctive impulses, but to the superego, which appears as "parent" and controls at an unconscious level the instinctive, impulsive energies dominated by the pleasure principle. It is a "dialectique  de  la negativite"  whose focal points are want, rather than  desire; fear and hatred rather than love" (1980: Chapter 1). Abjection, then, alludes to that fusion of superego and id mentioned earlier. "A chaque moi son objet, a chaque surmoi son abject," claims Kristeva (10). She attributes the creation of the abject to the superego as "Father," citing the Father's desire that brutish suffering endured by the abject's ego. In the abyss of the rejected resides the abject, which celebrates a fusional  be  maternal  return to the maternal  body through the rites of birth and death. "II faut une adhesion inebranlable a I'lnterdit, a la Loi, pour que cet entre-deux pervers de I'abjection soit cadre et ecarte. Religion, Morale, Droit" (23).^ ^ Connected with the sacred, it is the impure, the taboo, the sinful which must be redeemed  through  suffering,  repression,  and  purification.  Abjection  is  what "perturbe une identite, un systeme, un ordre. Ce qui ne respecte pas les limites, les places, les regies" (12).^^  De Beauvoir pinpoints the  84 stark connection of the abjected mother with death: "Du jour ou il nait, I'homme commence a mourir: c'est la veritd qu'incarne la Mere" (267). In her essay, "Le Sexe ou la tete," Helene Cixous sees Little Red Riding Hood's grandmother as allied with the wolf in repressing the little girl's jouissance. "abject,"  In her analysis, the grandmother is presented as an  corrupting the little girl's knowledge of her own feminine  desire  and its expression. The grandmother, who takes the place of the "Great Mother," ("il y a des grands hommes mais il n'y a pas de grandes femmes"), is wicked, because, Cixous insists, "les grands-meres,  c'est  toujours mechant: c'est la mauvaise mere qui n'en finit pas de rattraper la fille, au cas oil la fille voudrait par hasard vivre ou jouir" (6).^^ grandmother, for Cixous, represents jealousy  The  — "cette espece de jalousie,  de la femme qui ne peut pas lacher sa fille" (6). Out of the bad mother's desire to keep the daughter for herself, which we might even as the mother's desire that the daughter should suffer abjection and inability to fulfill  interpret  the same  her own desire, to "travel through her  own forest," the mother enjoins her daughter to hasten along the same little path to grandmother's house that she may have once trod. This path leads to "bed," where, Cixous asserts, women are always found in the masculine symbolic — sleeping their lives away moving from bed to bed, from dream to dream. The Wolf is the grandmother, Cixous claims, and  "Nous savons que nous sommes toujours  quelque part  attendues  dans un grand lit par un grand-mechant Loup" (6-7). Le grand-mechant Loup represente, avec ses grandes dents, ses grands yeux et ses airs de grand-mere, le grand Surmoi thdoretique qui menace tous les petits chaperons rouges feminins qui essayent d'aller explorer leur foret, sans la permission de I'analyste. Done, entre deux maisons, entre deux lits, on la voit  85  allongee, toujours prise dans sa chaine de metaphores, celles qui organisent la culture ... toujours lune pour le soleil masculin, nature pour la culture, concavite pour la convexite masculine, matiere pour la forme ... immobilite inertie pour I'avance et le proges, t e r r e sur laquelle va s'appuyer la marche masculine, receptacle ... Evidemment I'homme debout, actif, producteur ... et d'ailleurs c'est ainsi que 9a se passe dans I'Histoire." (7)1 ^ In Cixous's abjected  grandmother's  stomach, the little girl  death — death to all her own potential, autonomy and freedom.  finds The  grandmother kills the little girl's spirit in the name of life, as represented by masculine desire. As Wolf, she devours the little girl's subjectivity. The generational bond brings not wisdom but entrapment in "the Same," which is to say entrapment in the masculine Symbolic, the Phallic signifying code in which little girls must learn to play their roles of passive,  repressed  femininity,  roles  which  Grandmother,  as  Superego,  enforces. In Perrault's "La Belle au bois dormant," the same themes obtain. While the "good fairies" confer upon the infant daughter all the qualities and graces which will make her "desirable" in the masculine Symbolic, the "bad fairy's" gift is that of sexual maturation, symbolized by the pricking of the princess' finger with a spindle. The "bad fairy's curse," that the princess will die from her wound, is mitigated by the last "good" fairy, who, suspecting evil, has hidden behind a curtain. Instead of dying, the princess will fall asleep for a hundred years until Prince Charming arrives to awaken her "with a kiss." The "bad," or abjected fairy is motivated by her isolation, her marginalization from  life. Uninvited  to the christening,  lacking the golden casket in which the other fairies find their eating utensils, she becomes spiteful.  In Perrault's polite courtly version, her  rejected status is an "oversight," because she has lived in seclusion for  86 more than half a century (has been repressed from consciousness for a long time). Her curse — that the princess shall die through sexual maturation — is reminiscent of the Biblical curse upon Eve for her sexual knowledge and identifies her as a phallic mother, in league with the patriarchal Symbolic. Through the working out of this curse. Sleeping Beauty becomes initiated into the world of the Phallus, into, as Cixous says, knowledge that "elle manque du Manque ... le manque  du  Phallus"  (8). Prince Charming, says Cixous, teaches woman to be aware of lack, to be aware of absence, aware of death. "II va lui apprendre la Loi du Pere. Quelque chose de I'ordre du 'sans moi, sans moi-le-Pere-Absolu' (le Pere est toujours d'autant plus absolu qu'il est improbable, qu'il est incertain ...), 'sans moi: tu n'existerais pas, c'est moi qui te I'apprends'" {S)A^  And,  she continues, "on pent dire que I'homme est au travail de fa9on tres active pour produire 'sa femme,' ... le moment oil I'homme peut enfin dire 'sa' femme, 'ma' femme. C'est le moment oii il a appris a faire sentir la Mort a la femme" (8-9). It is this moment when Prince Charming claims the princess as "his," assuring "her" death, which the abjected old woman brings about in phallic discourse — whether grandmother,  "bad"  fairy,  fairy godmother. Duenna, or mysterious old woman high up in a remote attic room. The death which the Crone brings the daughter is not a physical  death,  with  accompanying  body, but a metaphorical  reabsorption  back into the  death (which can become mental and  earth's physical)  brought about by her sexual entrance into the masculine Symbolic  order  as an object of male desire and relegation to a dream-like sleep, always already in  bed.  Among the many points on which Cixous differs from Kristeva is her perception of the Grandmother's alliance with the Wolf in  reinforcing  87 the Law of the Father's prohibitions. The corruption, the abjection of the old woman would seem to include, for Cixous, the co-option of her ancient powers by the masculine Symbolic, which places her,  whether  "good" or "bad" mother, in the position of bringing about the young girl's submission  to the culturally constructed  "feminine"  role of  passivity,  inferiority,  and inactivity. For Kristeva, the "abject" is represented by the  maternal desire to possess and retain the child in its orbit, rather than releasing her into the father's Symbolic realm. For Kristeva, it would seem that danger lurks not in Prince Charming's initiation,  which  "awakes" the Princess from lethe, the boundless sleep of maternal  desire,  but in the prolonged union of mother, daughter, and grandmother.  The  "evil fairy"  represents the repressed,  devour the child, preferring  abject  mother, who wishes to  its death to adulthood through  maturation; the "good fairy"  sexual  mitigates this death sentence, enabling  the  Princess to enter the adult world governed by the "Law of the Father" (Symbolic code) after a "long sleep." The Prince's intimation of mother's "lack" will propel the Princess into adulthood. The  Well-Wrought Although  psychological project  fairy-tale  Trap witches are now  treated  as personifications  of  forces and desires, the ability of patriarchal culture to  mythologically  and  symbolically  its  fear,  resentments  and  loathings upon the personage of the old woman has had notable historic consequences. In a theological  "cleansing," an estimated  million  older  people,  throughout  predominantly  women,  were executed  Europe and in New England during  centuries after  Pope Innocent  VII declared  100,000 to 9  the  witchcraft  punishable by the Inquisition and the Malleus  as  witches  two-and-a-half a heresy  Malificarum  {Hammer  of  88 Witches)  was published in 1484 (Gadon 212; Walker 109; Weigle 186).  The widespread torture and persecution of old, poor, eccentric or independent-minded  women  as  witches  served  to  enforce  conformity  to  masculine images of desirability (the "Law of the Father") and punish independence based upon a sense of feminine power. Images of old women  as  ugly,  reprehensible  and  undesirable  were  re-enforced  literary portrayals such as Jean de Meung's La Vieille. speaking, the suppression of old, dissident,  by  Economically  or independent  women,  who  often eked out a meager living gathering and selling medicinal herbs or assisting as midwives, served not only to eliminate great numbers of dependent,  "useless" people, but also to consolidate the  profitable  occupation of medicine under the control of men. Walker and Weigle, among others, point to the economic shifts which took place under the theological "Law of the Father" guise of the Inquisition. As Kristeva has noted, the creation of the abject is related to intense suffering of the abject's ego, imposed by the Father as Superego; in the Inquisition and "burning times," one sees the underlying economic and  power  advantages to be gained by the Father's theological injunction "suffering  for sin." Masked by religious zeal and mythological imagery, a  significant hundred  of  concentration  years  of wealth  of persecution,  took place during  repression  nearly  and witch-hunting,  three at the  end  of which women, who were seldom amply endowed with means for an independent patriarchy as poverty.  living, found  their prospects  even more circumscribed  for  living independently  by the threat of  of  the  punishment as well  As Walker writes.  It was precisely ... independent, property-owning wives who were defined as witches by the Inquisition at the outset of persecution.  89 which apparently succeeded in destroying the last vestiges of matriarchal tradition and law, leaving Europe's women exposed to a type of marriage that amounted to sexual and economic enslavement ... Husbands were allowed to acquire not only the wife but also her property, as dowry. (121) It was the medieval metamorphosis of the wisewoman into the witch that not only transformed her cauldron from a sacred symbol of regeneration into a vessel of poisons and changed the word Crone from a compliment to an insult, but also established the stereotype of the malevolent old womanhood that still haunts elder women today. (122) What  were  mythological,  cultural  stereotypes  have  become  enshrined in Freud's Oedipal family and Lacan's linguistic Symbolic  order.  The Father's Word has become a well-wrought trap in which each element reinforces  the other, creating a seamless structure of logic that  operates to repress or exclude that which does not uphold  patriarchal  privilege. In this section, various aspects of the Crone archetype have been examined from the perspective of European — primarily French — patriarchal discourse. In the next two sections, I will be considering the roles of grandmothers or older women in examples of French and American order  women's  to compare  writing how  of  various  the nineteenth women  and  writers  constructed the figure of the old worn^p.  twentieth  have  centuries  themselves  in  90  NOTES ^This fascination perhaps has its roots in women's search for self, since society, in general, reflects back to them so little that is individual and freedom-giving. Although it is tempting to attribute this fascination to narcissism —a psychological mirror — I propose that it stems from a fundamental effort to construct a more varied "self" that is not based upon the few basic stereotypes available for women in modeling their lives. ^Webster's 1972) 303.  Unabridged  Dictionary,  2nd edition. (New York: Simon & Schuster,  ^"Philosophic discourse, in so far as it lays down the law for all the others, is the discourse of discourses." This Sex Which is Not One, translated by Catherine Porter, with Carolyn Burke (Ithaca, N.Y: Cornell University Press, 1985), 74. '*"Thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee" (Gen.2:16). ^In The Reproduction of Mothering, Nancy Chodorow counters Freud's (mythological) invocation of mother-son incest and reverses his assumption of female inferiority, arguing that it is the male child who must struggle to establish an identity based on his difference from the mother. The male child alienates himself not to escape the mother's sexual designs but to establish against "her positive identity a precarious maleness" (187-8). More secure in her early identity with her mother, the female's problems arise at the Oedipal stage when she encounters the negative valuation of femaleness by males "who are desperately attempting to establish something non-female." Chodorow concludes that only after the male, in reaction to his insecurity has instituted rigid divisions between male and female and has devalued all that is feminine, including mothering, female genitals and female symbols, does Freud's "penis envy" become comprehensible. ^British psychologist D.W. Winnicott's term. See Nancy Chodorow. The Reproduction of Mothering (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1978). ^Shaman, magician, and guru are words used to characterize Lacan by his former student and fellow psychoanalyst, Catherine Clement, in her portrait. Vies et legendes de Jacques Lacan (Paris: Editions Bernard Grasset, 1981), published in the United States as The Lives and Legend of Jacques Lacan, trans, by Arthur Goldhammer (New York: Columbia University Press, 1983). She also compares him to a sorcerer, a martyr, a clown, a Phoenix; an avatar of the ancient archetype of the rising/dying god; to Christ who suffers on the Cross, is crucified and rises again. He is, she writes, the Christian son to Freud's Jewish father image (Chapter 1). 8The "Law of the Father" connotes the transcendental authority of God, the Father. In the Judeo-Christian tradition, God cannot be represented by iconographic images (idols) but only by language. God reveals Himself through the Word (Logos), privileging the Book, in which the Word of God is inscribed. The  91 Book, then, becomes Word.  the repository  for  the authority  and codification  of  God's  ^The infant has no sense of "self" as separate from "other," perceiving himself [sic] and his mother as one. At about one year, the child goes through what Lacan termed the "mirror stage," in which he begins to perceive himself as separate from his external environment. In the pre-linguistic state, the infant has no awareness of the gap between desire and its fulfillment, between himself and the mother; this stage is characterized as the realm of the Imaginary, corresponding to Freud's pre-Oedipal stage. "Desire for the Mother" is characteristic of the Imaginary. Passage through the "mirror stage" marks entry into the symbolic order of language, governed by the "Law of the Father" or the phallus as transcendental signifier and ultimate symbol of meaning and significance. In the Imaginary, the infant has not experienced repression of its desire for the mother and delayed gratification of its desires. The child's movement into the Symbolic order, through the acquisition of language, signals awareness of the "gap" between self and other and of differences in gender. ^ "Sprengnether suggests that the ego's subjectivity may be understood as an "elegiac construct," mourning and memorializing the loss of the mother/infant relationship (9). ^ Iff the act of signifying is defined as the process of creating "signs" as metaphors, replacements, and substitutions for man's original desire, which is desire for union with the Mother, then the Mother, since she has never "left" herself, would have no desire. ^ ^"Existence, thanks to sexual division, rests upon copulation, accentuated in two poles that time-honoured tradition has tried to characterize as the male pole and the female pole. This is because the mainspring of reproduction is to be found there. Around this fundamental reality, there have always been grouped, harmonized, other characteristics, more or less bound up with the finality of reproduction." The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psycho-analysis, edited by Jacques-Alain Miller and translated by Alan Sheridan (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1981), 150. 1 3 See Bruno Bettelheim, The of Fairy Tales.  Uses  of  Enchantment:  The  Meaning  and  Importance  ^'^Kristeva defines the term chora, taken from Plato's Timeus, as a womb-like receptacle containing the semiotic pulsions of energy which break forth into the symbolic as disruptions, silences, dissidence. The chora represents the semiotic, pre-Oedipal period of mother-child unity. Its language is a pre-verbal "babble," and it is characterized by an unstable identity in which the child is sometimes "me," sometimes the mother. The semiotic is archaic, but expresses itself in creativity, especially through the language of poetry, with its linguistic distortions and rhythmic pulsions. ^ ^"An unshakable adherence to Prohibition and Law is necessary, if that perverse interspace of abjection is to be hemmed in and thrust aside. Religion, Morality, Law." Powers of Horror. An Essay on Abjection, translated by Leon S. Rudiez (New York: Columbia University Press, 1982), 16.  92  ^ ^"Abjection is what disturbs identity, borders, positions, rules." (1982:4)  system,  order.  What  does not  respect  ^ '"Grandmothers are always wicked: she is the bad mother who always shuts the daughter in whenever the daughter might by chance want to live or take pleasure." "Castration or Decapitation?," translated by Annette Kuhn, Signs 7 : 1 1 , 1981, 43. l°"The Big Bad Wolf represents, with his big teeth, his big eyes, and his grandmother's looks, that great Superego that threatens all the little female red riding hoods who try to go out and explore their forest without the psychoanalyst's permission. So, between the two houses, between two beds, she is laid, ever caught in her chain of metaphors, metaphors that organize culture — ever her moon to the masculine sun, nature to culture, concavity to masculine convexity, matter to form, immobility/inertia to the march of progress, terrain trod by the masculine footstep, vessel ... While man is obviously the active, the upright, the productive ... and besides, that's how it happens in History" (1981:44) ^ ^"He will teach her the Law of the Father. Something of the order of: 'Without me, without me — the Absolute — Father (the father is always that much more absolute the more he is improbable, dubious) — without me you wouldn't exist, I'll show you.'" (44) And, she continues, "it might be said that man works very actively to produce 'his woman'.... the moment when man can finally say 'his' woman, 'my' woman. It is that moment when he has taught her to be aware of Death." (1981: 44)  93  PART II THE CRONE'S SURVIVAL In Texts by Women  Goddesses never die. They slip in and out of the world's cities, in and out of our dreams, century after century, answering to different names, dressed differently, perhaps even disguised, perhaps idle and unemployed, their official altars abandoned, their temples feared or simply forgotten. Phyllis Chesler Women and Madness  94 Nineteenth-century  Chapter 4 Grandmatriarchy: The Grandmother's in Maternal Discourse  Despite her frequently  Role  negative portrayal, as discussed in Part I,  the Crone, as a mythological and generational image, has survived in literature, folk tales and stories, lending herself to various interpretations  depending upon the times and the writer. In Part II, my  focus will be on the depiction of the old woman — or grandmother — by several women writers, to contrast the depiction of this figure in literature  by  women with its portrayal in literature by men  about  women. I will continue my previously established method of close textual analysis in order to discern the roles and assigned  to  this  developments  character.  To  represent  characteristics  nineteenth-century  — a time when the number of published women  authors  multiplied — I have chosen texts by the French novelist George Sand, and the American regionalist Sarah Orne Jewett. Each provides a strongly focused example of the "matriarchal" voice from  the mid-  nineteenth  to  discourse"  frequently  deployed  the  Romantic pastoral  early  twentieth-centuries.  during  A  "maternal  this period, as women writers  and/or regionalist  novels or "sketches" that presented  "local color" fictional  used  was  the  techniques  in  women, including older women, as  subjects in their world. Both writers use the matriarch figure to model examples of feminine autonomy, independence and power as well as the limitations and restrictions environment. affiliations  Sand's  imposed upon them by the social  matriarch  retains  more  classical  with the "hag," however, while Jev^^U's  grandmother"  is an elder  guide.  European "spiritual  95 Maternal  Discourse  The writers  maternal  presages  discourse  some  aspects  of  many  nineteenth-century  of  late twentieth-century  women  efforts  French and American feminists to isolate and describe an feminine  by  ecriture  or style of writing that foregrounds such "markers" as  emotivity,  interwoven  permeability, of female  nurturing,  web-structures, metaphors  of  imagery  of  women's  fluids  bodies,  and and  recognition  "desire."^ Such discourse identifies, explicitly or implicitly, the  mother's body as locus and source of generativity, as well as efforts to re-imag(in)e women, in the words of Shirley Neuman in her introduction  to Relmag(in)ing  patriarchal  social  Imaginary"  (3). In maternal  prominently  as a numinous  Women,  organizations,  "outside  representations  within  discourses, ideologies, and the  discourse,  the Grandmother  (male)  figures  agent.  In this chapter I will examine depictions of the  grandmother/old  matriarch figure through close readings of Sand's La Petite ( 1 8 5 1 ) and Sarah Orne Jewett's Country of the Pointed  Fadette  Firs (1896)  in  order to discover some of its attributes and analyze its role in "maternal" discourse. In her essay, "The 'Language of Blood': Towards a Maternal  Sublime," Patricia Yaeger has theorized  a "maternal  sublime,"  based upon the abject, defiled body of the birthing mother, which can be recognized as "one of the primary building blocks of the male sublime" (Neuman, ed. 101). Both Sand and Jewett can be seen as imagining a maternal discourse which situates itself apart from masculine  heroic  discourse  of  militarism^ and social upheaval, in the  case of Sand, and questions the values of industrialization, and urbanization  a  development,  through the establishment of a "women's society,"  in  96 the case of Jewett. At the same time, both are enabled in their projects by participation  in  the  mother and sentimental middle-class An  tendency  discourse, a trend benefiting  to valorize  the  the hegemony of a  society  Ideology The  nineteenth-century  of  Home  and  nineteenth-century  Hearth idealization  of  the mother  was partly  the  result of two centuries of evolving focus upon the bourgeois family unit as the locus of security and social value in both France and the United States, and construct  partly a re-articulation  which  characterizes  century America, trend  toward  Calvinist  democracy,  of  the dual private/public  patriarchal  societies.  values were being mercantilism  and  In  nineteenth-  supplanted  by the  Romanticism,  subjugation  egalitarianism,  and a determination to "get ahead."  middle-class  found  the  domesticated  and obedience to authority  family's  emphasis  on  secular  currents  which tended to replace confidence  spheres  with  The  self-control  in keeping with the capitalist goals. As Lois Banner claims in In Full Flower:  Aging  Women,  Power  and  Sexuality.  "Fears of working-class sexuality, in addition to a new focus on the mother-child bond and on love as the cornerstone of marriage, accelerated [these] trends ... Broad destabilizing social forces — the advent of industrialization, the many political revolutions — further advanced the new family and gender definitions. By the early nineteenth century, the domesticated, patriarchal family became a haven of security. The sentimentalized, domestic woman was its linchpin. (235) Thus "Mother" held sway in the home, while "Father" was the capitalist businessman  and  undisputed  ruler  of  the public  sphere.  In France, the idealization and veneration of the mother takes its example from  the Virgin Mary, whose sanctified  image embodies  the  97 spiritualized traits of the Great Mother: "C'est comme Mere que la femme etait redoutable; c'est dans la maternite qu'il faut la et I'asservir" (de Beauvoir  transfigurer  1949: 275). "Solidement assise dans la  famille, dans la societe, en accord avec les lois et les moeurs, la mere est I'incarnation meme du Bien; elle n'est plus ennemie de I'esprit; et si elle demeure myst^rieuse, c'est As a result  of  un mystere souriant  the  seventeenth-  and  ..."  (277).  eighteenth-century  trend  towards a bourgeois domesticity in both Europe and the United attitudes figure  towards  the elderly  was derided  shifted.  and ridiculed,  In France,  the  States  mother-in-law  while elderly women could  benefit  from an association with the humble saintliness of the Virgin Mary or the best of the "sages-femmes"  in the "white-witch" tradition. De  Beauvoir describes this type, often associated in Catholic Europe with elderly nuns: "Derriere la Mere sanctifiee se presse la cohorte des magiciennes blanches qui mettent au service de I'homme les sues des herbes  et les radiations  astrales:  grands-meres,  vieilles  femmes  aux  yeux pleins de bonte ... soeurs de charite, infirmieres aux mains merveilleuses"  (280). In the United  States during  the  nineteenth  century, the old woman was replaced as female villain by the younger unmarried  woman,  who  represented  a threat  to  monogamous  conjugality. Aging women came to be seen as potential providers of a new family  spirituality, the result of a privileging of  domesticated The  and  culture.  nineteenth-century  congregations women  bourgeois  sentimentalized,  and  influence  elderly  men,  American increasingly  sentimentally  liberal were  clergy, composed  valorized  and guidance, as Ann Douglas argues in The  whose of  maternal  Feminization  of  middle-class influence American  98 Culture. of  While ministers aligned  sensitivity,  literary  emotion,  women,  "fantasized  gentleness  assimilated  feminine  themselves  with the "maternal"  and dignity,^  ministerial  so women, especially  functions.  assumption of clerical  values  Douglas  office"  describes  the  (107):  There were countless sentimental tales of maidens effortlessly and unsuspectingly performing ministerial feats in the natural course of their domestic duties; just doing what came naturally as a capable and devout young girl apparently involved saving souls as a kind of unintended although by no means unwished-for byproduct. (106) From these developments, the "home" emerged as an idealized, spiritualized domain, presided over by generations of women — a locale which has come to be known as "women's sphere." Michel Foucault's theory of "genealogy," which seeks to "record the singularity of events outside of any monotonous  finality,"  seeking  them  "dans ce qui passe pour n'avoir point d'histoire — les sentiments, I'amour, la conscience, les instincts" (146), describes the subject of  "women's  sphere,"  the domain  of  matter  so many nineteenth-century  women  writers. In writing about relationships, the "home" (whether place or state  of  mind),  and  women-as-subjects,  nineteenth-century  women  used writing both to escape from the confines of the socially decreed "women's sphere" and to articulate meaning for their own and other women's lives. The areas of influence included  motherhood,  domesticity,  incorporated  child-rearing,  in "women's  spiritual  education. From the perspective of the "region" known as  life  sphere"  and  "women's  sphere," women writers could conduct a critique of a hierarchical  social  ordering which devalued "others" — the poor, humble, country people, foreigners, the aged,  minorities and the handicapped — while at the  99 same time describing sacraments  which  Although  the bonds, rituals, traditions, values  forged  an  enduring  female  and  community.  there were various depictions,  both positive  and  negative, of the aging unmarried woman (spinster or "Old Maid") and of the aging woman with a younger lover (especially in Continental ''education  sentimentale"  quintessential  novels), the grandmother  expression  of  the old  woman  became  archetype  in  the sentimental  literature. The figure of the old woman as grandmother, as depicted in nineteenth-century  maternal  discourse,  signified  generational  continuity and bonding in the community of women. Old women's wisdom,  which  might  (especially  connected  community  history,  examples of Banner  include information  about  to healing), psychological and  shrewd  strength for identifies  economic  feminine  three  survival  categories  of  sacred  insights, domestic  stratagems, and  rituals  provided  influence.  stereotypical  fictional  grandmothers, which can be seen as paralleling the idealized of nineteenth-century  fiction  and theology: the  grandmother," and the "reform  lore,  "cipher,"  the  grandmother." The "cipher"...  "Mother" "domestic "dotes on  grandchildren and exists in a haze of sentiment and handiwork"  (254).  Since this type is inactive, she is most vividly depicted as a visual icon of the type seen in Norman Rockwell's illustrations or advertisements. Associated with the rocking chair, her calm innocence and lack of sexuality  echoes  the placid  mother was supposed portrayed strength  and contentment  to provide. The  as a bustling and vitality  serenity  housewife, often  reinforce  "domestic  idealized  grandmother"  caring for  the idea of  the  is  grandchildren.  the post-menopausal  Her woman  as vigorous and energetic, expending upon the needs of others her  100 apparently  still-boundless  forces,  reflective  of  the  energies of the Mother. This type is exemplified grandmother in Willa Gather's My account Grandmother  Brown's  Antonia  One  Hundred  infinite  procreative  by Johnny's  or by the biographical Years  (1827-1927),  as told  to Helen Connor Brown. The "reform grandmother" is socially active and "involved" after menopause. Elizabeth Cady Stanton provides one of a number of historical examples, while in a less dramatic manner the women of Helen Hoover Santmeyers' ... And Ladies of the Club the "clubwoman." Asexual and indomitable, she is associated reform  illustrate  with  movements or issues of wider social concern and has  accumulated  both  influence  and  wisdom.  All three types are subsumed in the figure of the spiritualized grandmother, reflecting a view of aging as an ethical experience which enriches women and makes them  "spiritually  beautiful."  This notion of  the spiritualized beauty of old age, according to which the glow of inner spirit  illumines  the outer  countenance,  counters  earlier  centuries'  view  that the physical decay of old age is loathsome and expresses a reversal of the classical  emphasis on external, physical  appearance.  Underscoring the role of women as educators, the "wise old woman"  character,  whether  grandmother  or older  woman,  functions  as a  guide or teacher for a younger woman (often the narrator) who attains a new level of maturity or understanding. Under the tutelage of an older woman — storyteller, artist or healer — and through her return to the community of women, the young woman is able to regroup her forces, assess her strengths, and choose new paths. The guide function particularly "confession,"  pronounced  in the Bildingsroman  or  the  autobiographical  in which the heroine or narrator confronts and resolves a  is  101 major life problem or attains a broader, more inclusive, though unconventional, function  outlook.  In American  often  literature, some examples of  this  include the relationship between Mrs. Todd and the young  narrator in Country  of the Pointed  and Evelyn in Green Fried  Tomatoes  Firs  or between  at the Whistle  Ninny  Threadgoode  Stop Cafe. One of the  best examples exists in Italian literature, outside the scope of this study. In Sibella Aleramo's La Donna  (1906), the older editor friend  encourages the young narrator's writing and provides a vision of a different  way in which to exercise her talents, devote herself to  humanity and earn a living, thus enabling the abused woman to leave her  destructive  marriage.  This relationship — and, indeed, the idealization of the grandmother —  is probably less common in French literature, in which  the classical attitudes towards the ugliness and decay of old age still obtain and where women tend to relate, not to a sorority of other women, but to men. As Michele Sarde asserts, "... I'espace fran9ais est une aire intersexuelle ou I'amour, la haine, I'interet, le pouvoir et les di scours sur tous ces themes passent et repassent dans la proximite des corps" (78-9). "Comment une femme peut-elle vivre sans le regard de I'homme, avide spectateur de sa vie et de sa personne,"  demanded  Colette (14). In France, the old woman's association with death and chaos has not been forgotten.  "Dans la plupart des  representations  populaires, la Mort est femme" de Beauvoir reminds us, and "la FemmeMere ... est le chaos d'ou tout est issu et ou tout doit un jour retourner; elle est le Neant" (241). Nonetheless, in a complex fashion Mere Fadette plays the role of teacher for her granddaughter in George Sand's La Petite  Fadette.  102 The comparison of these two French and American  works  illustrates the use of common themes, topoi, and values of with  culturally  emphasis  put  persistent upon  differences.  spirituality  American literature, especially  and  Jewett's ethical  fiction values  of  in  the  greater  nineteenth-century  by women, while Sand's retains some of  the classical Gallic representation of the ambiguous The Idealization F adette  shows  domesticity  Generativity:  George  "hag."  Sand's  La  Petite  As pastoral romance, the imagery, plot and character portrayal George Sand's La Petite Fadette  emphasize  the  agrarian  perception  in of  the earth as a fecund mother's body through whose cycles all life is connected. The roles of maiden, mother and crone echo the seasons of the agricultural  cycle and the natural rhythms which  vegetative procreativity.  govern human  The bounty of the soil, wisely husbanded  and and  managed by small farmers such as Pere Barbeau, provides the basis for prosperity and continuity to all. His wife. Mere Barbeau, mirrors the land and animals in her vitality and fecundity. Against a backdrop of bucolic peace and plenitude, the romance's heroine learns both to fit herself to the pulse and needs of the farming community into which she marries  (becoming  "feminized")  and to transcend  the maternal  cycle  through her own autonomy and individuality. In his paper, "Growing Up Female: George Sand's View in La Petite  Fadette"  (1982), Michael  Danahy sees her task to be the establishment of self esteem in "the absence, in a patriarchal society, of female role models, especially the domestic maternal one" (57). As I see it. Sand has imagined that Fadette's task is to integrate into the community and into her own sense of self-worth the rejected model of the autonomous female, a role which  103 has, to some extent, been modeled for her by her grandmother and mother, although at the price of social ostracism and personal denigration. In the ideal world of romance, the mating or union of male and female  constitutes  the universal  life-giving  force.^ Marriage signifies not  only a personal union but also family and community renewal. uses  the conventional  fairy/folk-tale  "boy-meets-girl"  romantic  plot,  Sand  coupled  with  elements^ and a pastoral setting, to depict a young  heroine who acquires the power,  influence  and independence  a family leader. Janice Radway argues in Reading  to become  the Romance  that in  such novels "the fairy-tale union of the hero and heroine is in reality the symbolic fulfillment  of a woman's desire to realize her most basic  female self in relation  with another" (155). Regardless of whether one  accepts the premise of a "basic female self" invested in relationships, Radway argues that what the romance heroine desires in this relationship is both the "autonomy  and sense of difference  imaginary  guaranteed  by connection with someone experienced as 'other' and the erasure of boundaries  and loss of singular  consciousness  with an individual indistinguishable from  achieved  through  union  the self" (155). As heroine,  Fadette both embodies the autonomous power of her mother and grandmother through his  and seeks  acceptance  maternal  nourishment,  denied  in her  childhood,  by the romantic hero and his community  (including  mother). Sand focuses  her attention on the matriarchal  elements of pastoral  myth, not only weaving in the maiden, mother and crone themes but also delineating the making of an autonomous matriarch, as distinguished from  a mother-figure.  She also depicts the social and  104 developmental  forces  that  complicate  and  compromise  feminine  autonomy. The book's opening scene is strongly maternal, as Mere Barbeau, assisted by the old midwife. Mere Sagette, sublimely fulfills generative function  by giving birth to legendary  her  twins: Landry  and  Sylvinet. Although Mere Barbeau is not young and has already borne three children, she is filled  with nurturing energy and vigorous  enough  to nurse both infants herself until they are ready for weaning. of milk, nursing and full  breasts indicate a fruitful  to give and support life almost effortlessly  Images  mother's body able  without depleting  herself.  Carrying out the crone's role as midwife. Mere Sagette, as her name suggests, advises providing  the parents  psychologically  autonomous  development.  sound  wisely concerning  insights  Although  that  the  would  midwife's  the twins' rearing, encourage  predictions  reminiscent of the old fairy's curse in "Sleeping Beauty" and an example of the fairy/folk-tale comments willful  their are constitute  elements which Sand employs, her  are not a curse, expressing  superstitious  malevolence  spite, but shrewd prophecies, based upon the old  or  woman's  experience and powers of psychological observation. It is one of several instances  in which  accumulated  (rationality), rather than magical  scientific powers  or psychological  knowledge  (intuition), is presented  as the  basis for Sand's old women's wisdom. While the three old wise women in La Petite Fadette  represent  various aspects of the old woman archetype, their common forte is healing through botanical  medicines and counseling. The book  opens  with Mere Sagette delivering the Barbeau twins and closes with Pere Barbeau  seeking  medical  advice  regarding  Sylvinet's  melancholy  from  105 "la baigneuse de Clavieres," ... "la femme la plus savante du canton apres la Sagette, qui etait morte, et la mere Fadet, qui commengait a tomber en enfance" (232). As psychological counselor, this old woman "qui avait un grand jugement sur toutes les maladies du corps et de 1'esprit" (232) completes the advice regarding the twins which Mere Sagette had given many years ago at their birth, predicting that Sylvinet will transfer suffocatingly  his  passionate affection from his twin to a woman, who will, in  turn, become the central focus of his life. That this woman is Fadette, his twin's wife, dooms him to a life of unmarried exile in the army, where he surprisingly  enjoys  Mere Fadet,  a most successful  Fanchon  Fadette's  career.  grandmother,  provides  the  most  complete portrait of the old woman and her matriarchal role, both actual and symbolic, in the development of the young heroine, represented  by her granddaughter.  study, George  Sand,  self-awareness,  and self-esteem"  As David  Sand's message  "usually  Powell remarks in his involves  self-discovery,  (135). The Sandian hero (or heroine)  is  a "solitary figure, one who is either forced to face life alone or who has chosen to grapple with some intimate problem by [her]self" ...  becoming  "strong as a result of finding a source of power and perseverance within" (135). The most experienced of her lineage, the old matriarch. Mere Fadet, teaches more than just survival to her granddaughter, demonstrates  economic  self-reliance  as  well  as inner  determination  who and  strength. As herbalist and "medicine woman," Mere Fadet lives apart  from  the villagers in a little cottage. Excluded socially, she is valued throughout the countryside for her curative abilities and so, despite her reclusiveness and eccentricity, remains a part of the village web of  106 relationships. She is "one of those women branded witches who used to exercise  rudimentary  chiropractic  cures,  medical for  skills,  including  a livelihood  veterinary  throughout  and  pre-industrial,  pre-urban  Europe" (Danahy, 52). As a quasi-witch figure, her abode outside the village indicates that she exists away from  the community center, at the  edge of  the power of  consciousness.  Witches represented  autonomy,  which the grandmother continues to uphold, although at the community's periphery. The secrets of her cures are based not on witchcraft, however, but upon her knowledge of herbs, a skill which she teaches to Fadette, so that she, too, may earn her living independently. Gathering, concocting  and dispensing herbal cures becomes a family  business, with its secrets passed down from granddaughter. amusement  As Fadette explains  dans la connaissance  grandmother  to Landry,  "J'aurais  against Landry's critical evaluation supernatural  witchcraft, rational  insisting  scientific  powers, that  her  observation  with her curious, exploratory in devising botanical  renfermd  des secrets que m'enseigne  mere pour la guerison du corps humain" (142).  supposed  to  rebuts  grandmother's  mind,  ma  his  experimentation.  and  accusations  knowledge  of  is based  Indeed,  begins to surpass her  grand-  herself  of her peculiar upbringing  Fadette  and  Defending  mon  upon  Fadette, grandmother  cures. In this respect. Sand undermines  traditional  romantic conventions which hold that the male is rational and  scientific,  the woman, emotional and intuitive. Although she pretends to be more of a witch than she is, as a defense against the villagers' animosity, Fadette has the ability to discover new cures and solve problems by approaching eventually  them judiciously enables  and analytically,  her to command  power  and  an ability respect.  which  107 While the grandmother  provides what might  be termed  knowledge and skills, she is lacking in maternal nurturing Fadette's  mother  is absent,  having  abandoned  husband  In this matriarchal family,  are  popular  uncaring  assume the freedom  about  opinion,  ability.  and children  become an army camp follower. independent,  femininity,  social  to  the women  outspoken,  to lead their lives as they please. The  does not teach conventional  "phallic"  and grandmother  restrictions or  conformity,  but instead leaves Fadette free to roam, explore, and discover. In this, the old woman  both empowers her granddaughter  and leaves  her  vulnerable to community rejection, just as she both teaches Fadette to be independent and deprives her of affection  and nurture. Explaining to  Fadette her "defauts," the reasons she is outcast from the village, Landry assumes the role of "social voice" in a critique which establishes him as the male mentor teaching her the social norms of constructed "femininity." Her "faults" are that she is too boy-like and has not acquired  "feminine"  characteristics:  agreeableness  in  voice,  speaking, grooming and dress. She is too independent and  manner  of  fearless,  qualities which are, says Landry, "un avantage de nature pour un homme ... mais pour une femme trop est trop ..." (137). She is inquisitive,  uncovers  others'  secrets and  reveals  them  harshly.  People  fear and reject her. To be independent, athletic, unrestrained,  fearless  and "noticed" are male, not female, attributes (136-38). As a female, she is  severely penalized by public opinion for qualities that are thought  admirable in a boy.^ Yet these traits have been imparted to her through her matriarchal lineage, as part of the heritage of skills and attitudes needed to live independently. These qualities, which include an acceptance of  abrasiveness,  non-conformity  and discordance  as well  as  108 the ability to be economically self-sufficient, of a matriarchal  survivor, although  contribute to the  formation  Fadette's lack of nurturance  her vulnerable to the need for communal  relationship and  leaves  belonging.  Mary Nyquist's analysis of the male mentor as romantic hero in "Romance in the Forbidden Zone," underscores  the nurturing,  maternal  quality of this lover, an attribute which is attractive to the heroine because the "actual mothers are most often either dead or absent, or else ineffectual"  (Nyquist in Neuman, ed.  163). In popular romance,  Nyquist adds, "the heroine is usually without almost any other significant  social relationships  ...  [and] her vulnerability is increased  when she is forced to negotiate a totally unfamiliar environment, one in which the hero is entirely ... at home" (163). It is his knowledge of "unarticulated needs — originally, in our culture, a maternal  knowledge,"  she concludes, that eroticizes the hero's mentorship, making  him  irresistibly attractive"  (163). In La Petite  Fadette,  Sand's evocation of  the maternal is ambivalent, especially in light of Nyquist's analysis of the maternally nurturing lover who, by appearing to supply the missing mother's love, acts as mentor to instruct the heroine in her eventual submission,  "symbolically, to the phallus" (165).  Although Sand is capable of an almost boundless idealization of the mother archetype, her sentimentalization of the old crone is less overt. Mere Fadet is no plump, indulgent fairy  godmother  presiding  over an orderly little cottage in the woods. Indeed, in her inability to nurture, she is revealed as a phallic mother. Her care of the two children verges on neglect. The children are uncouth and poorly  dressed  in old, patched rags, because of her stinginess and refusal to buy them clothing. This  grandmother  disparages  Fadette simply  because the old  109 woman loves to complain. As the grandmother ages, she comes to depend upon Fadette to gather the herbs and keep the flock of animals thriving, so that they produce good wool and milk for cheese, all of which yield income. Eventually she becomes deaf and feeble,  reaching  that stage of old age which resembles infancy. The dependencies are reversed,  as  Fadette  assumes  responsibility  for  her  grandmother's  care.  Old age is re-presented with its irascibility, its decay, its complaints, and its  ugliness. In death, however, the old crone becomes an agent for the  empowerment of new life. Years of penury and hoarding the gleanings from  her herbal medicine sales and consultations have resulted in the  accumulation of a treasure of money hidden in a hole in the cellar. As Mere Fadet says to her granddaughter, "si je vous prive un peu a present, c'est pour que vous en trouviez davantage un jour" (245). The inheritance,  which  represents  another  form  of  generational  continuity  whereby one generation passes on its legacy to another, enables  Fadette  to be on an equal footing with the Barbeaus, so that her marriage to Landry carries no taint of financial exploitation or gain. Unlike the fairy-tale  marriage  of  conventional  romance, their union is portrayed  one of mutuality rather than of dependence, fulfilling  as  Sand's vision of  an ideal marriage of equality, in which each spouse continues to gain new  understanding In  writing  the maternal  and  perspective  a romance  which  to present a feminized  stand  contrast  attendant  the  other.  foregrounded,  however  ambiguously,  values and struggles of the "women's sphere,"  attempted in  from  sufferings,  to  socio-political  mid-nineteenth-century especially  those of  ideal  capitalism  workers,  Sand  which and  women  would its  and  outcasts.  1 10 Strongly influenced incorporated  by socialist and Romantic thought,  her views about social injustice  Sand  and reform, crossing  or  mixing of social ranks, religion and art into most of her novels, frequently  expounding them  Her feminism  issues of her time, rejecting  educational  opportunities  were  universal  improved,  she nevertheless  desires, campaigned created  outspoken  for  encouraged  mutuality  heroines  women  and equality  (Powell  89-91).  possibility for women to write fiction  the  suffrage  and  institution of marriage as an ideal (despite her own experience),  didacticism.  is equivocal. Although holding herself aloof from  radical feminist women's  with a generous dose of moral  until  upholding  negative  to know  and  live  in relationships,  "Sand  the  opened  their  and  the  that diverged from the male-  dominated genre," Powell asserts. He adds, "Hers is a female discourse that discusses the problems of women in society, in the home, in love, as well as women subjugated The maternal eternal  by men" (90).  pastoral vision, with its inclusive simplicity and  rhythms, appealed  to the sentiments, evoked  face of growing industrialization  nostalgia in  and labor unrest, and  provided  spiritual comfort in the face of social dislocation. Fadette, "bergeries"  the  one of her  (Sand 4), is intended to be an alternative social vision to the  political turmoil in France following  the "February" Revolution and class  war in the streets of Paris in June, 1848, which reflected the socialist aspirations Referring  and  discontent  to these  of  "convulsions  masses  of  unemployed  workingmen.^  sociales," Sand contrasts the  strength  with which "un genie orageux et puissant comme celui de Dante" would have written during such tumultuous times "avec ses larmes, avec sa bile, avec ses nerfs, un poeme terrible, un drame tout plein de tortures  111 et de gemissements" with the "plus faible et plus sensible" consciousness masculine familiar  of  the nineteenth-century  artist  (2-3). Sand's  "toughness" and rigor with feminine nineteenth-century  theme in Europe  "sensitivity"  and America,  contrast  of  was a as  the  spheres of art and religion underwent what Ann Douglas has termed the "complex  phenomenon"  of  sentimentalization.^  Its complexity consists,  at least in part, in its ambiguity. Sentimentalism, Douglas claims, "asserts that the values a society's activity denies are precisely the ones it cherishes; it attempts to deal with the phenomenon of cultural bifurcation on this  by the manipulation of nostalgia"  ambiguity  between  action  (12). Sand herself  and imagination,  between  focused  the  historical and the ideal, in her musings upon the role of the artist. For her, the artist of these times is only a reflection of his or her generation. He or she "eprouve le besoin imperieux de detourner la vue et de distraire 1'imagination,  en se reportant vers un ideal de calme,  d'innocence et de reverie" (Sand 3). Consequently, as she is reported to have remarked to Balzac, "while he portrayed men as they were, she painted them as they ought to be" (Powell  136). The writer's mission  (that is to say, her  mission) in troubled, violent times is to present an  alternative (feminine)  vision — "de celebrer la douceur, la confiance,  I'amitie  ... les moeurs pures, les sentiments tendres et I'equite primitive"  (Sand 3). Escape from the reality of violent political upheaval into the idealized possibility  realm of the nostalgic pastoral imagination offers of foregrounding  an alternative feminine  which is "healthier" and more wholesome:  the  scale of values, one  "mieux vaut une douce  chanson, un son de pipeau rustique, un conte pour endormir les petits enfants sans frayeur et sans souffrance  ..." (3).  In Sand's remarks, there  1 12 is an emphasis on an escape into the mother/child world of the feminine  imaginary,  characterized  by dreams, innocence, and a  static  "ideal de calme." Sand's maternal pastoral vision can be seen to be fueled by "lack," in the Lacanian sense of separation from the primal mother-child unity, with a corresponding effort  to return to an all-  embracing idealized community which stands in place of the Nonetheless, (which  beneath  the  pastoral  recapitulate, in the maternal  sentimentalism  and  albeit  in a cyclical rather than linear pattern). La Petite Fadette portrays  three  generations of autonomous, rebellious women who do not conform  to  the norms of their society. The pragmatic impediment to feminine  self-  Sand  and self-expression  addresses.  Fadette's  Foucault's  idealism  "same,"  sufficiency  imaginary,  "mother."  is economic dependence, an issue  grandmother  possesses  skills  that  which  enable  her  to establish her cottage business in herbal medicines and potions, skills which she passes on to her granddaughter. Sand posits that the grandmother, by dint of crushing frugality  and a lifetime of practicing  her trade, is able to save a private fortune in cash equal to that of Pere Barbeau's  prosperous  farm,  underscoring  mutuality  between male and female  the pattern  of  equality  activities which I have  and  already  noted in the relationship between Fadette and Landry. Thus, despite the sentimental  idealism  and  pastoral  escapism  inherent  in  Sand's  evocation  of the feminine imaginary, she has attempted to portray an active, independent heroine who is capable of influencing  the world  around  her, speaking her desire (to "dance with Landry"), and controlling — even altering — her destiny in order to move from a position of isolation into inclusion into the community. Fadette is a heroine who is willing to risk, as Foucault puts it, "the chance of confrontations" (Foucault 159) in  1 13 order to gain full-status  admission  into the community.^ It is significant,  from the point of view of women's "voice," that Fadette's major life problems center around lack of relationship, maternal  affection,  sense of self-worth,  that her  although it is equally significant  and a separation  from her mother, a long period of relative isolation, and individual development  provide her with the power and  self-confidence  to  insist  upon entry on an equal footing. Fadette also leaves behind her selfconserving, that  permits  hostile, rather  the conventional feminine  survival than  mode for  forbids  a more flexible  relationships.  romantic plot is information  self-confidence  and  self-reliance,  and  self-assertiveness  Subversively  in  about economic  survival,  the value of  generational  relationships for those who do not have access to society's routes to power and  encoded  conventional  inclusion.  Sand's own biographical history can be seen mirrored in the story of Fadette, which to some degree may be interpreted as a fictional attempt to resolve conflicts  and tensions within the author herself.^ o  The parallels between George Sand's early childhood and Fadette's marked.  are  Like Fadette's absent mother. Sand's mother, Sophie Dupin, had  been a camp follower, pursuing an affair  meeting her husband-to-be, Maurice,  with a quartermaster.  while  Although Aurore, like  Fadette,  adored her mother, she too saw her parent with decreasing  frequency  over the years, while her grandmother  and  guided her education  provided a home. "Increasingly she felt like an orphan," Gate claims, ... with no father to guide her, a grandmother in her dotage, a tutor who had virtually turned over to her the administration of the Nohant estate, and an absent mother whose rare letters w e r e full of reproach. (77)  1 14 How to grow up as a female with no happy, successful feminine role models to emulate may have been Aurore's dilemma as well as Fadette's. Like Fadette, Aurore lived a somewhat isolated but free  existence,  riding through the countryside dressed in man's clothes, which  she  discovered to be far more convenient than women's. Under the tutelage of Stephane Ajasson de Grandsagne, her friend  and neighbor at Nohant  and rumored father of her first child, she studied anatomy and medicine, shot and hunted "like a man" (Gate 74), and did as she pleased. Like Fadette, her eccentric habits shocked the country  folk,  who whispered that she practiced black magic and was "in league with the powers of darkness" (74). Later she took up "apothecary" writing  studies,  that,  I also practice medicine, surgery, pharmacy ... I mend broken noses, patch up fingers, I make potions and juleps for colds, I prepare poultices and even administer enemas. All this consumes my time and uses up my garden flowers, and I spend the day making syrups, jams and liqueurs." (Gate 131) Her own interest and studies in the healing sciences became the basis for  the fictional  Mere Fadet and her granddaughter's  herbal  remedies  and for the portrayal of their healing skills. One of the most striking parallels, of course, is the roles of the actual and fictional  grandmothers in leaving estates which free  their  granddaughters from  economic want. The legacy of Nohant, with its  attendant income, provided Sand with both a sense of home and some degree of financial from  security, especially following  Gasimir Dudevant in  her legal  separation  1836.^ ^ Nohant, her home since earliest  childhood, also supplied her with a profound sense of place and  1 15 region.12  ^ g my observation about these parallels between Sand's life  and her fictional  depiction  of Fadette's  relationship to her  and mother illustrate, there is frequently women's  writing  their fictional  between  their  own  grandmother  a marked relationship  circumstances  and  in  experiences  and  characters, even when the fiction is not overtly  autobiographical.  While this serves to ground the fiction in women's  experience, writers such as Sand used their experience not only to represent  alternative  resolutions  importantly to explore "women's  to their own inner conflicts,  but more  the values, struggles and heroines of the  sphere."  The Spiritualization of Country of the Pointed Nineteenth-century wrote about  Generativity: Firs American  Sarah  women  Orne  regionalists  Jewett's commonly  "women's sphere," enshrining domestic life and, by  extension of the concept of "home," the "genealogical" (in Foucault's sense) details of the life and characters of a town, or region. As Marjorie Pryse has noted in her essay, "'Distilling Essences': Regionalism and 'Women's Culture'," the concept of separate spheres of influence for men and  women  creates  hierarchies  of importance,  with  women's  "regions"  being a subordinate part of a whole that is controlled by men. At the same  time,  nineteenth-century  women  regionalists  "women's spheres" into "women's culture," constructing the subordinate positions created for, poor,  female,  unmarried  or  transformed a "critique of  then occupied by, rural,  unconventionally  married,  often  elderly, untutored  persons" (Pryse 8). The literature of the "women's sphere" conveyed message  of  feminine  bonding  and  community.  the  1 16 The community of women is central to the writings of Sarah Orne Jewett  (1849-1909),  whose female  realism  is marked  by  what  Josephine Donovan has called "the yearning ... for a transcending community and a sense of loss at its lack." ^^ gy t^g i^te nineteenthcentury New England was in economic decline, its seafaring and whaling days past, and its young men heading for the West, or to the urban factories, or dead in the Civil War. Lois Banner's research supports the conclusion that many women of the post-Civil War period  either  rejected marriage in favor of spinsterhood, or as widows chose not to remarry,  preferring  to conserve kin  their  networks  autonomy "provided  (257-58).  women,  female-linked  support  difficult  times" (257). The community of women,  For  these  to individuals  "strengthened  in  by the  power of grace," became for Jewett the locus of transcendence and hope, one which she believed could be, in Pennell's words, a "force equal to the challenge of the decline wrought by economic failure" (193). Jewett's imaginary landscape is dominated  by what Ann Douglas  has  termed "the laws of scarcity," by which "the wherewithal of life has somehow Sister's  been  Choice:  withheld"  (1972:16).  Tradition  and Change  Elaine  Showalter  in American  observes  Women's  in  Writing  that  "as women's culture declined after the Civil War ... the local colorists mourned its demise by investing significance" (68). In Country Landing affirm nourishment economic  and  its traditional  of the Pointed  images with  Firs, the women of Dunnet  the domestic values and rituals that spiritual  resources  sustenance  against  and an austere climate.  quest for the goddess that influenced  mythic  provide  a backdrop Showalter  of  declining  mentions  "the  ... the stories of Jewett" (1993:  125). At the center of the web of women's community is Mrs. Blackett,  1 17 the figure of the spiritualized  grandmother, who provides for  narrator (and hence the reader) a model for the well-lived  the  life.  For Jewett, the process of living is perceived as a metaphor and vehicle for the soul's journey. Through stories and visits which reveal their  "spiritual  biographies,"  the women  of Jewett's community  assess  their own characters and those of others for their ability to nourish and sustain life. The "lessons" taught by living are weighed and evaluated. As Marilyn Sewell remarks in Cries of the Spirit: A Celebration Women's  of  Spirituality,  In women's writing there is little of the cultural dichotomy between sacred and profane. Again and again the writing suggests we may profoundly experience the sacred in the ordinary tasks and pleasures of living if we would but be open to these events as spirit-filled. Traditional religious themes are transformed in light of down-to-earth human realities. (1) Jewett  infuses  the simple  down-to-earth  world  of Dunnet's  with an intuition of the sacred, creating a spiritualized  Landing  maternal  discourse which is offered as a healing balm for the wounds of patriarchal  theology. Willa Gather described Jewett's vision as one which  sees the sacred in the most humble person, as in the "gray primness"^ ^ of a marsh rosemary. Like George Sand's farmers of La Gosse, the values of Dunnet Landing's inhabitants are set forth in contradistinction to the urban world, a phallic world in which the ego is separated from the mother-as-nature in order to realize itself. In the daily life of her remote Maine seacoast village, Jewett details the rituals, sacred moments and values of a feminine spiritual life which stands both in relation to and as a critique of the harsher Galvinist theology of New England's  Puritan ancestors. In her essay,  Josephine  Donovan  persuasively  discusses  "Jewett and the  influence  Swedenborg," of  1 18 Swedenborg's  ideas  upon  Jewett's  aesthetic  and  spiritual  sensibility,  noting its "cheerful, more optimistic appeal" and its perception of "the transcendent incarnate in the physical," which is the core of Jewett's "imaginative realism." Rather than the "inscrutable Calvinist deity, a deus  absconditus,  Swedenborgians saw the divine as manifest in daily  life, a familiar presence. People were not pawns in the hands of any angry god but were free to shape their own destinies" (Donovan 732). It was a doctrine of love (736), of choice,! 5  ^nd of the value of everyday  reality and simple rural people. The closeness of the spirit world to everyday  reality  is revealed  through  (740). It was also a feminized  the  "spiritual  language"  spirituality, characterized  of  nature  by immanence,  relationship, and union of the sacred and the mundane. Mrs. Blackett is, to use Melissa McFarland Pennell's  descriptive  term, a "salvific" woman, as is her daughter, Mrs. Almira Todd. Together they exemplify  the maternal values of  "spirit" which best endure in  adversity. Mrs. Todd is a Gaia, an archetypal Earth Mother. Like Mere Fadet, she gathers herbs and makes medicines and potions to earn her living. Unlike Mere Fadet, Mrs. Todd is sociable and extroverted; her house and garden, filled with herbs — a "rustic pharmacopoeia"  (Jewett,  14) — lie within the village, rather than beyond its borders. In Jewett's iconography, the growing of a garden is the mark of a salvific woman and is connected with ancient women's religions: the odors of Mrs. Todd's garden might have once belonged to "sacred and mystic rites" inculcating  "some occult knowledge,"  although this once majestic  religion  has, like Dunnet's Landing, fallen from its days of glory, and its sacred rites have devolved  into mundane  "humble compounds"  (14).  She  possesses the gift of healing and works in cooperation with the village  1 19 doctor in prescribing and caring for the sick. Reminiscent of the ancient Celtic goddesses of Avalon, Mrs. Blackett dwells with her son on one of the outer islands in the harbor. Her island home, separated from  the  mainland by water and yet accessible by boat, is a symbol, a mark of her spiritual gifts and insight. She dwells at the border, the boundary between the visible and non-visible worlds. The narrator first  sees  Green Island illuminated by a "gleam of golden sunshine" in a clouded late-afternoon  sky, making it seem like "a sudden revelation of the  world beyond this which some believe so near" (33). This vision of Mrs. Blackett's  island  home  contrasts  theologically  with  Captain  story of a supposed North Pole island peopled with hostile,  Littlepage's fog-like  wraiths, whose spirits stand between this world and the next. The spiritual realm exemplified  by Mrs. Blackett is more accessible,  no less divine, than Captain Littlepage's metaphysical  frozen  though  island  purgatory. As a mark of her special grace, Mrs. Blackett is portrayed as a young/old woman, agile and girlish at 86. The narrator describes her as a "delightful  little person," with "an affectionate  air of expectation like a  child on a holiday" (39). She is blessed with the quality which Harriet Beecher Stowe termed "faculty."  "Faculty not only signifies a woman's  achievements in the domestic sphere," according to Pennell, "but also serves as a sign that the completion of domestic tasks, the putting into order of her outward life, confirms the presence of order and control in her inner life as well" (194). Although she has seen "all the troubles folks can see" (Jewett 46), Mrs. Blackett has not only endured but has been able to cheerfully  nurture others, signs of vitality and the loving  spirit which are hallmarks of the salvific woman. Other  characteristic  120 qualities  include  an  intuitive,  empathic  understanding;  self-sufficiency;  the capacity of "doin' for others" (65); and a desire for solitude as well as companionship. Essential traits are the ability to "read" and respond to nature and its messages (as does Mrs. Todd who keeps her "eye on the sun and the moss that grows one side o' the tree trunks" (131) to navigate a seldom-trod path); an adventurous spirit; and above all, the "gift of self-forgetfulness"  (46) — the highest grace — which understands  how to make others feel at ease. The voices of age and experience are valued by the community for their ability to interpret  spiritual  biographies, discerning the "signs of God's involvement in a particular life"  (Pennell  194).  "Belonging" is the central value in this sacred community of women, just as the "visitation," "telling one's story," shared meals and gardening are its primary rites. The kitchen as the focal point for domesticity is the favored meeting room for the exchange of stories and sharing of food that signifies bonding. "Come right out into the old kitchen; I shan't make any stranger of you" (42), Mrs. Blackett says to the narrator upon her first visit. "Belonging" results from a quality of spirit manifested  in numerous small details and signs. During the  process of the narrator's initiation into the community, guided by Mrs. Todd, she demonstrates in numerous ways her election to the sisterhood: she digs potatoes at Green Island; Mrs. Blackett invites her to sit in her "old quilted rockin'- chair" (not only a piece of furniture indicating her grandmotherly  status but also a throne, with  "the  prettiest view in the house" (42); shy William is unusually sociable; other normally reticent people "warm up" to her and confide their life stories; she becomes adept at herb-gathering,  concocting  syrups  and  121 cordials, making feather-light  doughnuts, and  "helping out." Learning  to  observe details, act in accord with natural phenomena, and see correspondences beings, all  between  increase  natural  events,  her perceptiveness  flora  and  in reading  fauna  and  "spiritual  human  biographies"  and understanding the "inner meaning" of a life. Linked in a spiritual daughter-mother-crone  relationship,  the  narrator  is  guided  by  the  motherly Mrs. Todd into a sorority over which Mrs. Blackett gently presides  as  exemplar.  As the "epitome of the values and worth of the domestic and female sphere" (Pennell 202), Mrs. Blackett is honored at the midsummer sacred festival  known as the Bowden Family  Reunion.  "Mother's always the queen" (89), says Almira Todd. All who "belong" to the Bowden Family by birth or marriage converge upon the old homestead for a picnic celebrating  "the family,"  family  connecting generation  to  generation in a great chain of life and community: ... we were no more a New England family celebrating its own existence and simple progress; we carried the tokens and inheritance of all such households from which this had descended, and were only the latest of our line. (90) Affirming  her spiritual kinship, the narrator states that she "felt like an  adopted Bowden in this happy moment" (89). Befitting the acknowledged  spiritual  matriarch,  Mrs. Blackett,  her position as  "serene  and  mindful of privilege and responsibility" (95), walks at the head of the procession with the ministers to the picnic grove. At the center of the feast is a large gingerbread replica of the Bowden homestead, shared in sacred communion by each guest as a "pledge and token of loyalty" (96) to generativity  and the family  bond.  122 Various character  portraits compare and contrast the lives of  other queenly older women. Mrs. Susan Fosdick excels in that  "highest  of vocations," the ritual of visitation, seeming "to make a royal progress from house to house ... after the fashion of Queen Elizabeth." Mrs. Todd styles her "the best hand in the world to make a visit" (53). In contrast to the spiritualized  grandmother,  adventurous,  grandmother  through  active  "seafarin',"  Mrs. Fosdick who  has  represents  experienced  the  the  the cornerstone of Dunnet Landing's  world  economic  golden age. Her knowledge is experiential rather than intuitive: she has been the mother of a large family and voyaged to the East Indies with her parents, thereby learning by women's  community  to appreciate  because  it allows  "difference,"  a trait  understanding  valued  of  "peculiarity," a clue to the mysteries of the soul's journey. She is a link with the "old folks," venerated ancestors of the past. Together she and Mrs. Todd recount the long-dead Joanna's biography, the story of a woman  who  immolated  herself  on deserted  Shell-Heap Island  after  being jilted by her lover, holding to the theological view that she "wasn't fit to live with anybody" and refusing the comfort of the women's community. To stubbornly reject the gift of life (the mother's gift) is a tragedy mourned by the whole village, especially by these two old women whose values enhance their powers of  endurance.  The biography of Mrs. Abby Martin, the Queen's Twin, is a testimony to the power of the imagination to sustain in circumstances. Fancying herself  Queen Victoria's  impoverished  "twin" because of  common birthdate, Mrs. Martin has survived the isolation  their  and  disappointment of their infertile inland farm, with none of "her kind" to talk with. Mother of a number of children who have moved away and  123 not "a great hand to go about visitin'" (135), Mrs. Martin has built her life around  Queen Victoria, collecting pictures and treasuring  the  memory of her one sea voyage to London where she viewed the royal personage driving out of Buckingham  Palace. Her identification  with her  royal birth mate has ennobled her life as a domestic "slave" in "poor, strugglin'  circumstances"  (138), meager  simple standards. Her preoccupation  even  by Dunnet  Landing's  with the Queen provides  an  imagined companion for her solitary old age. Indeed, Mrs. Martin exemplifies a regal "beauty in age" (139), as she waits expectantly at the door to greet her guests hospitably. Upon leaving several  hours  later, Mrs. Todd exhibits her great powers of understanding  by  remarking, "it ain't as if we left her all alone" (146). Mrs. Thankful emperor" disposition  Hight, with the "features of a warlike Roman  (122),  exemplifies  and  self-centered  the  domineering  behavior  matriarch,  ensure  support  whose  from  grumpy  her  "dutiful  daughter." Since the narrator has by now learned to read beneath the superficial appearance of things, she can use her inner vision to attribute Mrs. Hight's behavior to a "natural resentment" of the paralytic stroke which has rendered eventual  death,  however,  been a successful  her  her nearly helpless. Upon  middle-aged  daughter,  Esther,  her  who  shepherdess and support to her mother, will  has marry  William and move to Green Island. Esther, the "dutiful daughter"  whose  sign is the lamb carried in her arms,^ ^ may, in time, succeed Mrs. Blackett as the spiritualized divine  elder of Green Island, the community's  well-spring. In The Feminization  negatively  critiqued  the  of American sentimentality  Culture, and  Ann Douglas has rather  effeminization  of  124 nineteenth-century  New  England's  ministers  in her analysis  of  "the  vitiation of New England Calvinism" (18). She quotes Henry James, Sr. in his judgment  regarding  the decline of American  Protestantism:  "religion  in the old virile sense has disappeared, and been replaced by a feeble Unitarian  sentimentality. "^ "^  damnation,  freedom  This "feeble sentimentality" prefers love to  to repression,  and  idealized  domesticity to the epic struggles of sinful  minister,  (157).18  handily  outdoing  her  virtue  man. In sentimental  of the late 1800's, the heroine, in Douglas' words, amateur  feminine  and literature  is "typically ... an  established  clerical  competitors"  Some of these qualities apply in Jewett's feminized  Dunnet  Landing: the sublime is reduced to the peculiar; "greatness" resides in the  past,  while  the women's  community  enshrines  endurance  and  survival; benevolence and a loving heart count for more than  theological  passion. Sin as the great rebellion against God, ("what Douglas calls "the essential Calvinist truth which Melville understood so well: that sin itself is the sublime, and that only its enormity puts men on speaking terms with God." [245]), is not committed by the citizens of Dunnet Landing, except by Joanna, who has a thorough understanding of the Puritan mind. Her sacrifice  and self-immolation,  which the  Calvinist  might regard as sublime, is seen to be a tragically unnecessary by Mrs. Todd and Mrs. Fosdick, interpreters of the feminine order.  Captain Littlepage's  nightmarish  visions, which faintly  gesture  divine recall  those of Melville's Captain Ahab or Coleridge's Ancient Mariner, are not evidence of the grand struggle to be human in the face of God but rather of his peculiarities, although Mrs. Todd concedes that "Some o' them tales hangs together toler'ble well" (Jewett 33).  125 Other critics have viewed the post-Civil War local colorists more positively.  Judith  Fetterley  maintains  that  sentimentalism  may  be  "a  code word for female subject and woman's point of view, and particularly for the expression of women's feelings" (25). Arguing serious  critical  evaluation  of  the texts of  the  for  nineteenth-century  women's literary tradition, Susan K. Harris sees in these novels "subversive and disruptive elements  ... which establish an area of  female  emotional  independence,  intellectual  acumen"  as "sentimental,"  competence, (1991:50).  Harris  female  conventional  suggests  and  that the genre  described  "women's," or "domestic" might instead be styled  "exploratory," because "it explores approved  complexity  behavior"  coverplots  of  ... extensions beyond the realm of  (1990:20).  She contends  nineteenth-century  a subversive discourse, or underplot,  that  women's  beneath  novels,  the  there  is  "which suggest[s], at the very  least, that women can learn how to achieve physical, emotional, and financial  independence"  (21).  It is important to realize that the values which Mrs. Blackett evokes as transcendent were those of New England's founding the English and Scotch families  of pre-Revolutionary  Calvinist values laid the foundations economies provided  of  the prosperous  the ministers,  times  for the sea-faring  eighteenth  century.  soldiers, merchants,  These  families,  whose  and  farming  families  sea captains, and  scholars  who formed New England's culture and wealth. The great New England clans formed  an interlocking  partnerships and community  network of  marriages,  business  ties which gave a good measure of  security to those who "belonged."  Hence the overweening importance of  passing the "belonging" test, whose criteria for women are outlined in  126 Jewett's works, for "belonging" to one of the great family clans, whether by birth, marriage, or "adoption," gave entry to precisely that web of connections that would form a comforting  safety-net  At the same time, the late nineteenth-century, twentieth, were characterized  in times of trouble.  and certainly  the  by waves of new immigrants. The old  New England families were becoming mythologized, static icons in which the concept of "family" was reified into a secular religion. "Belonging" meant ancestral descent from  the "old" families, as distinct from  the  new immigrant peoples, and set its elect apart from the masses. In this sense, too, Jewett's fiction represents a "region," not in distinction the patriarchal the  urban  culture but from  the waves of newcomers swarming  both  grandmother  Through Sand  often  and  stood  Generativity Jewett  for  demonstrate,  transcendence  providing an alternative vision that would  the  nineteenth-century  over limitation  and  lack,  enable younger women  survive and endure. In the case of Sand's Mere Fadet, the helps to make possible her granddaughter's  success in  community.  For Jewett,  the  spiritualized  to  grandmother  overcoming  exclusion to become a respected member of her husband's family her  into  tenements.  Transcendence As  from  grandmother  furnishes  and an  imminent vision of the sacred in the everyday. Female generativity and continuity promise the power of endurance, coupled with the hope of transcendence. At the same time, the endings of these novels might seem to belie the grandmother's  message of power and transcendence  of  lack.  Fadette's entry into the community of LaCosse comes at the price of her socialization into the construct of "femininity,"  although she does retain  127 a degree of wifely Esther  represents  independence and stature. William's wedding  the betrothal  to  of people well past child-bearing  years.  This is no Barbeau family, exulting in their son's marriage and the fertility  which it promises. The marriage between William and  Esther  will be a "spiritual marriage," barren of children. Dunnet Landing is in decay and filled  with old people.  The marriage between  who have put off matrimony to fulfill  other filial duties is a sentimental  triumph of enduring love but will produce no future These endings,  however,  60-year-olds  also represent  generations.  the narrator's  return  from  the pastoral, maternal word of the imaginary to social realities. As Harris has pointed out in 19th-century  American  the "novels' middles" which contain  Women's  "their potential for  Novels, it is  ideological  disruption." The middle portions of these texts, she contends, an area of intellectual  female  independence,  competence, emotional  "establish  complexity,  and  acumen that sets the stage, whether the author intended  it  or not, for other women to 'read' a far different message than the one the  novels  overtly  profess"  (21).  Nineteenth-century  women  writers  such as Sand and Jewett used the "region" of the "women's sphere" to explore a pastoral, maternal discourse in which the myth of the great mother depicted, not patriarchal messages of incest and taboo, but rather  the autonomous  with nature, self and  connection  discourse  self-reliant  females  in  relationship  "other."  The nineteenth-century maternal  of  and  the  saw the zenith, in terms of valorization, of grandmother.  In  the  twentieth-century,  with the advent of the "New Woman" and the "Persephone"  daughter,  images of discordance creep into women's portrayal  grandmother.  of the  In France, the rejection of the mother and a general revulsion with  128 regard to the aging woman's body intensify, as revealed by Simone de Beauvoir. As we shall see in the next chapter, in 1932 Willa Gather, the creator  of Johnny's  in My Antonia  survival  grandmother,  who mediates  Eve's  garden  ( 1 9 1 8 ) , wrote "Old Mrs. Harris," producing a story about  the discontinuity useful  benevolent  which  results  information  when  to impart  grandmothers to their  no longer  grandchildren.  have  129  NOTES ^Non-conforming syntax, neologisms, are also characteristic of an ecriture  and  the etymological feminine.  reclamation  of  words  ^In La Petite Fadette, Sylvinet's passion for his twin brother is so suffocatingly intense that it cannot be contained within the domestic sphere of family and community since it interferes with other relationships. The author's solution is to send him off to the military, thereby isolating and removing him from the community and diverting his passion into more impersonal channels. The military theme is repeated in the case of Fadette's mother, who "joins the military" as a camp-follower, also isolating and removing herself from the village community. Sylvinet's removal represents an advantage for Fadette, since his passion for Landry was transferred into an impossible love for her. Her mother's defection, however, represented a grave loss. ^In the idealization of the mother and assimilation of the mother's qualities, the nineteenth-century liberal American minister, as characterized by Douglas, presents a civilized, genteel reminder of Bettelheim's "symbolic wound", or the attempt by males to appropriate the mother's powers through religious ritual. ^See Mary Nyquist's essay, "Romance in the Forbidden Zone," in Shirley Neuman and Glennis Stephenson, eds. Relmag(in)ing Women: Representations of Women in Culture (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1993), 160-181 for discussion of romance stereotypes and narratives which reinforce sexual stereotypes that "undermine and undo action for social change even among the politically aware and well-intentioned" (10). See also Janice Radway. Reading the Romance: Women, Patriarchy, and Popular Literature. (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1984). ^ According to Michael Danahy, "this novel is easily trivialized as a variant of Cinderella story" (49).  the  ^The nineteenth-century New England writer and intellectual, Margaret Fuller, was similarly penalized for not concealing her intelligence and refusing to use "feminine wiles," or defer to men. George Sand was one of Fuller's models. See Lois W. Banner, In Full Flower: Aging Women, Power and Sexuality (New York: Vintage Books, 1992) Chapter 7. ^According to R. R. Palmer, by June, 1848 "there were probably almost 200,000 essentially idle but able-bodied men in a city [Paris] of about a million people." Following three days of street warfare in Paris behind the barricades (June 2426), "militant workers were confirmed in a hatred and loathing of the bourgeois class, in a belief that capitalism existed in the last analysis by the callous shooting of laboring men in the streets. People above the laboring class were thrown into a panic ... The very ground of civilized living seemed to have quaked." A History of the Modern World, second edition (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1958), 472, 474. ^The  Feminization  of  American  Culture.  (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1977), 12.  130 " Her admission is not unambiguous or without price, however, since it is contingent upon her at least partial acceptance of a new set of rules: that of "feminine" behavior, which Landry teaches her. As I discussed in the previous chapter, Foucault saw the ideas, beliefs, "facts" and events of history as the result of the appropriation of a certain system of rules by a more powerful group, usually accompanied by the subordination of others. In La Petite Fadette, Fadette listens to Landry's critical account of her tomboyishness and moderates her freedom-loving behavior. Landry, his family, and the villagers enlarge their perspective by coming to value Fadette's qualities, especially as they perceive benefits to themselves by so doing. Sand consistently paints an "emergence" of the values of mutuality rather than domination of either sex over the other. lOshe was born Aurore Dupin on July 1, 1804 to Maurice Dupin, of aristocratic heritage, and Sophie-Victoire Delaborde, daughter of a Parisian tavern-keeper and bird-seller. Their marriage took place a month before her birth. The circumstances of her early childhood are well-known: the tension between Sophie and her aristocratic mother-in-law, Mme. Dupin de Francueil (Aurore de Saxe), over what was considered an inappropriate marriage; the early death of Maurice Dupin, resulting in Aurore's upbringing by her grandmother in Paris and Nohant; long separations from her mother relieved only by occasional visits which gradually became less frequent; and lonely years at Nohant with her sick grandmother. Her grandmother let her roam the countryside freely, and Aurore, according to Curtis Gate's biography, "helped milk the cows and goats, danced wild country dances in the stubble, devoured wild apples, pears, and berries" with her friends, the children of Nohant's tenant farmers. Throughout her childhood, whether at Nohant or later at the Convent des Anglaises in Paris, the young girl suffered desperately in her perpetual search for parental affection. As Gate comments, "Her father was dead, her grandmother too old, while her mother, on whom her filial passion had so long been focused, was growing increasingly remote, not to say estranged" (62). 1 IPowell, xiii; Gate, Chapter 23. ^ ^The countryside and farmers of the Berrichon "Vallee Noire" provide the material for her five romans champetres including La Petite Fadette; Berrichon customs, folk beliefs, and superstitions, including a belief in sorcery, are woven into the fabric of these novels. Sand's study of Berrichon legends, published as Promenades autour d'un village, provides an analysis of "how Christianity had to join with the age-old pagan rituals and traditions to gather the people to the new religion" (Powell 58). In Fadette, the peasants of La Cosse have perpetuated ancient pre-Christian agricultural beliefs, rituals and festivals centered around the archetype of the Great Mother, which continue to function comfortably alongside Christianity and scientific rationalism. Thus Aurore Dupin de Francueil's legacy provided not only financial stability and a home for her granddaughter but also a deeply felt sense of place and region for George Sand, the author, who ploughed her rich emotional inheritance, together with her longing for her missing mother, back into her novels. ^ ^ Josephine Donovan. "A Woman's Vision of Transcendence: A New Interpretation of the Works of Sarah Orne Jewett." MR, 21 (1980), 375.  Quoted by  13 1 Melissa McFarland Pennell in "A New Spiritual Biography: Domesticity and Sorority in the Fiction of Sarah Orne Jewett," Studies in American Fiction, 193. 1 '^ Willa Gather. "Preface" to The Country of the Pointed Firs (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday & Doubleday, Inc., 1956), 8.  and  Other  Stories  ^ ^ Swedenborg emphasized that "one has the choice to make oneself good or not; unlike Calvinist doctrine, Swedenborg's holds that no one is born damned [and that] one has the choice of turning adversity into a blessing" (Donovan 1993), 736. ^ 6 The parallel in iconography to Jesus, the "dutiful the "Lamb of God" is unmistakable.  son" who is a "shepherd"  and  ^ ^ Quoted in F.W. Dupee. Henry James: His Life and Writings (New York, 1956), 11 and re-quoted in Ann Douglas, The Feminization of American Culture (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1977) 17. ^ ° In 19th-century American Women's Novels, Susan K. Harris describes Ann Douglas's The Feminization of American Culture as "spanning the gap between pre- and postfeminist critics." Douglas, Harris cautions, "brings with her many of the values implicit in the earlier [critical] works [on nineteenth-century women's texts] ... Douglas interprets them through her vision of the deterioration of the Puritan ethic, the spread of sentimentality, and the pernicious effects of women's complicity in the development of a consumer economy" (7). She upholds the literary values of New England Calvinism, which, she contends, display "mastery," "control," "history," and "uncompromised detail," as the intellectual standard. Women's novels are judged sentimental, debilitating to masculine intellectual vigor, and, together with the "sentimental" nineteenth-century theology, contribute to the "feminization" (degradation) of American culture.  132  The  Chapter 5 Grandmother and the  Displaced  Daughter's  Seduction  Just a plate of current fashion. Tripping by in high-heeled, ribboned shoes. Not a softness anywhere about me. Only whalebone and brocade. And I sink on a seat in the shade Of a lime-tree. For my passion Wars against the stiff brocade. Amy Lowell "Patterns"  Both in France and the United States, the twentieth century has been marked by a radical break with patterns of the late  nineteenth  century, a split indelibly demarcated by World War I. Willa Gather would later remember that "the world broke in two in 1922 or thereabouts"  (Demouy  105). Profoundly  affected  upheaval, women writers in both countries felt  by the general  social  it necessary to repudiate  their foremothers and the concept of "family" (as the locus of female exploitation) Widespread  in order to gain access to male-dominated  institutions.  acceptance of the Freudian Oedipal complex theory is  reflected in the work of these women writers in both countries and reinforces defined  their efforts  to escape the maternal  sphere for  masculine-  "art."  The nature of French and American the differences frequently of "Tamour  women's struggles,  reflecting  in the two cultures, were not necessarily parallel and  seemed  contradictory.  courtois"  France,  with  its  and the glittering salons of "les  centuries-old  tradition  precieuses"  possesses a tradition of "collaboration des sexes" rather than "la division du travail" common in Protestant Anglo-Saxon  countries (Sarde 484). In  133 French society from the aristocracy to the working class there exists a tradition of this "mixitd ou de collaboration des sexes, deja  interiorisee  dans les esprits et les mentalites" (484). French culture is heterosocial; American, especially New England, society was homosocial 1960's), characterized  by separation  While sexuality in American  (until  the  of the sexes. Victorian literature of the  "women's  sphere" was muted in favor of idealized romance, love relations, including the "desire" of the older woman, were frequently explored  in  literary  writers  whose  circles  increased  texts  struggles  by  twentieth-century  to win  their alienation  involvement in hithertofore  acceptance from  and  "daughters,"  into  women  male-dominated  domesticity  and  frankly  literary  their  taboo topics. The aging woman's body and  sexuality are explored in works by Gather and Edith Wharton, while Ellen Weatherall's death, in Katherine Ann Porter's story, "The Jilting of Granny Weatherall," signifies the death of the religious and social patterns  from  constructed. feminine  which  nineteenth-century  Still, Puritan, Anglo-Saxon  sexual  exploration,  especially  femininity  and  codes in America extra-marital  maternity  were  limited  affairs.  In France, women writers were typically neither as confined  to  the "kitchen" as their American colleagues nor required to be reticent about 'Tamour" femme"  and "le desir." To the contrary, a tradition of "la  extending back to the "I'amour  courtois"  of Alienor  Marie de Ghampagne and the troubadours  has associated  empowerment  d'amour,"  with their sexuality.  argues in Regard  sur les Frangaises,  "Le jeu  parole  d'Aquitaine,  women's  Michele  Sarde  gave certain women a freedom  power which "I'histoire ne pouvait ni I'effacer ni [le] clamer" (92). In France, the "feminine voice" is inextricably associated with  feminine  and  134 desirability,  sexuality, and seduction, especially  marriage. The greater sexual freedom  before or outside of  and openness has made the  "love  triangle," "la belle dame sans merci," and the courtesan or demimondaine common literary themes. The myth of "Veternel "le jeu  d'amour"  feminin"  and  has historically been a central literary topic for French  men and women writers, although one might observe that women's literary confinment to the arena of "I'amour"  French  and "le  desir"—  "toujours deja au lit" — parallels in some respects American women's enclosure within the home and "domestic" concerns. Because of the privilege which desirability confers, the issues of old age focus most intensely for French women upon the aging body and loss of sexual attractiveness. Rejecting "other,"  the myth of  American  women  the mysterious and seductive  activists  and  suffragettes  feminine  struggled  instead  for political and social rights, winning the vote in 1919, a right which French women did not gain until 1946 (477). While women of both countries  fought  for  acceptance  and  recognition,  American  women  writers were struggling to shed the image of "scribbling women," to gain admission to literary circles and a canon ruled by male intelligentsia, writers and critics. In France, the long-standing  importance of  as writers, intellectuals or salon hostesses was a "fait  accompli,"  women a part  of the national culture. French women preferred to battle "avec les hommes plutot que contre eux" (475). As Sarde comments, "Toujours feminisme fran9ais  apparait comme en retard  le  ... sur les autres  feminismes" and yet in another way, "nulle femme au monde n'etait ... plus emancipee que la Fran9aise" (476).  135 These cultural contrasts, as well as cross-fertilizations, the texts considered from  the maternal  in this chapter.  The American  appear in  woman's  separation  sphere and its traditional values, embodied in a  grandmother or matriarch, is recorded in the stories by Gather and Porter. Beauty, the aging woman's body and women's sexuality presented from  are  French perspectives in texts by Colette, de Beauvoir and  Cixous and from an American point of view in those by Wharton and Gather. The  Daughters'  Struggle  for  Access  to  the  "Word"  The end of the nineteenth century was a "symbolic moment of rupture  with  the mother  for  American  women  writers" (Ammons  123).  With the turn of the century came the advent of the "New Woman" and a concomitant basis for  disavowal  valorizing  of  the matriarchal  generativity.  values which constituted  By the early  twentieth  middle-class women, the women most influenced domesticity, Struggling  were for  college-educated,  professional  ambitious,  recognition,  many  the  century,  by the values of and  women  career-oriented. writers chose  not  to marry, or if they did marry, to leave the relationship if it proved self-destructive.  For  the  twentieth-century  woman  artist,  motherhood  represented a choice. Many did not feel it was "either possible or desirable to combine the traditional middle-class role of wife and mother with the role of artist" (9), and, unlike the earlier generation of fiction writers, they chose the role of artist. The ambition to create "high art" becomes the "defining feature of this period"  (Ammons  122), and the bohemian  writer, musician, singer, actress, sculptor,  woman artist  dancer) appears in  (painter, both  France and the United States as a heroine and protagonist. A notable  136 literary example is Renee, the heroine of Colette's La (1906), who rejects the confinement for the freedom  Vagabonde.  and values of a bourgeois  and adventure of a music-hall career.  marriage  "Serious women  writers of this period," Ammons remarks, "... display as a group a fundamental,  shared,  and  yet  highly  diverse  conception  of  themselves  as 'artists' — as makers, in the modern high-culture, western  definition  of elite art ..., of original forms" (87). As Ann Douglas noted, feminine sentimental  writing had become  "lowbrow,"  suitable for  greeting  card  verse (87). The locus of literary women's struggle became access to "the Word,"  represented  by  male-validated  "literature,"  and  necessitated  movement out of the "private" world of feminine creativity into the "public" arena, defined and controlled by men. In choosing art over domesticity  and  maternity,  emotionally  between  modern  women  artists  two worlds. In Showalter's  were  words,  left "they  stranded are  members neither of their mother's world nor of that of the privileged white  male  artist"  (1993:121).  It is particularly ironic that American literary women faced  such a  struggle for acceptance in academe and by critics, since literacy, reading, teaching  and culture  have been  traditionally  associated  women in North America and considered  "effeminate"  in contrast to  "pioneer"  industry."  men-of-action  and  "captains  of  The  with  establishment  and maintenance of artistic and literary "culture" has been part of the responsibility of the "women's sphere" in concert with artists, critics and reviewers who have been viewed as less than manly by "real men," charged with the task of developing and industrializing a nation and making money. Thus those arbiters of the literary canon who refused admit  women  writers  were  themselves  often  considered  "effeminate"  to  137 by other men. In contrast, intellectualism  and aesthetic concerns  are  accepted as "masculine" in France. In  rejecting  their  mothers,  many  twentieth-century  women  writers remain their fathers' daughters. If this chapter reads like a reflection of the Father's "Non," it is, in part, because women, in their struggle to gain full  acceptance as artists, authors and intellectuals,  needed to do so in patriarchal terms, since men controlled the public sphere of art. In an Oedipal sense, for the daughter to break away from the private, intimate, reproductive pattern of the feminine  "Same,"  she  was forced to leave her mother and align herself with her father to gain his access to the "public" or "symbolic" stage. Moreover, approval and praise from the "Father" were seductive for the daughter, as Jane Gallop among  others  has  acknowledged.^  in which daughter-women  The role of father's daughter was one  could be subtly  both  seducers and  seduced.  The rejection of the mother has meant that many of the feminist arguments of the 1950's and  1970's, including those of Simone de Beauvoir,  Luce Irigaray {Ce Sexe qui n'en est pas un) tete),  have been made from  "daughters,"  who  have  not  and Helene Cixous {Le Sexe ou la  the daughter's perspective. For these "un-powered"2  the maternal position by  embracing it themselves, the mother tends to remain a figure of the superego — a figure whom they regard with a mixture of fear, rebellion, disgust, and impudence. In short, she is the phallic mother, of whom there seems to be no agreed-upon definition. Initially, for Freud, she is the mother as perceived  by the pre-oedipal  child: all-powerful  and complete in herself.  She may also be construed as simply an older postmenopausal crone past childbearing and childrearing Several  female  psychoanalysts,  age, who escapes  including  Irigaray  and  woman, a  femininity. Kristeva,  have  138 shared the male view of the phallic mother as the engulfing,  devouring  mother. Irigaray speaks as a daughter, according to Jane Gallop, in pleading for separation from with  reabsorption,  the mother, who is suffocating which  Irigaray's daughterly  is death.3  discourse,  her and threatening  her  In "Et I'une ne bouge pas sans I'autre,"  the mother  remains  "phallic," i.e.,  omniscient  and omnipotent (Gallop 114). Here we see the theme of reabsorption, which in earlier times was attributed to the crone who reabsorbed all life back into her womb to be reborn again, attributed to the birth mother, in the psychological  sense of  "fusion."  Furthermore, Irigaray's and  Gallop's  description of the "phallic mother" as omniscient and omnipotent places her in the realm of the god-like superego and equates her with the "Non" of the Father. As I noted in Chapter 3, it seems quite possible to theorize an alliance between the id (which Freud likens to a chaos, a cauldron) and the regulatory superego, or parent — a tension which poses a threat to the emerging ego. I postulated that the Crone, or woman past  reproductive  capacity, can be seen to be a repressed construct linking id and superego, no longer erotic or nurturing, yet representing a superego  "parent"  figure  through her connection with "the law of death" (80).4 In the daughters' interpretation, superego  the  Crone-like  qualities,  but  "phallic  threatens  her  mother"  retains  her  "larger-than-life"  emergent  female  children  with  reabsorption into herself: an ego death. The  tri-partite  a mother-daughter daughter's  maid-mother-crone  struggle, one which  paralysis,"  adding  that  since  mother are unstable and permeable, undermines  boundary  distinctions"  figure  seems  to have collapsed  Gallop characterizes boundaries  "absorption  (114). Gallop  as  between  "the  daughter  is precisely a process suggests  that  into  the  and which  "phallic  mother" is more dangerous than the father because she is less obviously  139 phallic. If the phallus "can only play its role when veiled," as Lacan suggests,^ then the phallic mother is more phallic precisely by being less obvious (118). Kristeva, Gallop concludes, can  speak as the Mother, because she is one, and  so sees the child as separate. However, Kristeva, too, regards the Mother's positioning  within  the Imaginary  as necessary.  The Kristevan  phallic  mother  is one who seeks to appropriate symbolic language for herself. Nonetheless, Kristeva argues, a woman needs language — the paternal, symbolic order—  to  protect herself from her lack of distinction from the mother. The rules of grammar,  the "symbolic order of language," permit distinction  boundaries, so that separation of these differences  from  the Mother is possible:  is mortally threatening" (Gallop  agreed with Lacan's pre-emption of metaphor of psychological  daughter,  or  for  that  boundary  maintenance  paternally-controlled  can  115). Here Kristeva has  and social development and as  matter  mother-son,  psychological  Thus  for  with  mother-  separation  and  through acquisition of a  some  women  psychoanalysts,  to the "Word" has become not only desirable, but necessary against an engulfing  controlling  belonging  In Kristevan thought,  be achieved only  language.  "the breakdown  symbolic language as the  exclusively to the "realm of the father."  and  access  as a defense  "phallic mother," who, like Red Riding Hood's wolf, lurks  an insatiable appetite  to devour  her children.  Furthermore,  Kristeva  appears to agree with Freud and Lacan that access to the male symbolic order requires  the mother's abjection; the daughter must separate from  mother to enter the symbolic order. Telescoping into  one  figure,  the  Freudian-derived  theory  the mother-crone  postulates  a  the  images  mother-daughter  battle, in which the daughter must break free of the engulfing or abject Mother to win the Father's favor, aspire to his world and access to the "Word."  However,  because daughters are female  and potential  mothers also.  140 their battle against their mothers becomes a battle against themselves, a dilemma to which I will return later in this chapter. The century  began,  however,  with women's  intoxication  with new-  found freedoms, coupled with a growing awareness of the woman as an individual  with  rights and opportunities  as well as responsibilities.  Between  1890 and 1920, "a resurgence in feminist activism and a liberal political climate led to an explosive phase in women's writing ... an enabling relationship Showalter strongly  between asserts,  politics  and art"  "women's writing  connected"  (Showalter  and  women's  (112), while Ammons  1993:121). rights  concludes  In  America,  have always  that American  been "women  artists as a group do not thrive when feminist political activism is in decline or nonexistent"  (vii).  Thanks in large part to the activism of forceful  middle-aged  women leaders and social reformers in the last quarter of the nineteenth century — Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Frances Willard, Mary Baker Eddy, Mary Lyons, Jane Addams, Julia Lathrop, Lillian Wald, and others — American women of the early twentieth century  enjoyed  new  freedoms,  ability to be self-supporting progressive  educational  opportunities,  and  the  through work outside the home. The  "New Woman" era spanned the  1890's to the early  1920's.  It was the age of the "club woman," recalled in Helen Hooven Santmyer's  ... And Ladies of the Club  women past the childrearing or philanthropic  ( 1 9 8 2 ) . Women,  especially  older  phase of the life-cycle,  undertook  reform  work, founded  literary clubs, marched  in protests  campaigned for the right to vote. The automobile, train and provided  an exhilarating  "emancipated  woman."  new  mobility,  which  further  and  steamship  empowered  the  141 Actuarial  tables and census data proved that if women could  survive childbirth, they would live longer than men (Banner 280). As clustering  births  protracting common  (bearing  childbirth  practice,  in school, freeing  children  throughout  most mothers  earlier the  in marriage  reproductive  rather  years)  in their mid-thirties  than  became  had their  children  them from constant child care. The mid-forties,  than the mid-thirties, came to be seen as the beginning of The opinion-shaping  experts' views  on menopause  rather  "middle-age."  continued  to be  ambivalent: some authorities regarded it as "the dangerous age," a time of imbalance, hysteria, even madness; others saw it as a "second youth," a period of increased freedom  from  childbearing and domestic chores to  achieve personal or social goals. The women's  1920's saw the unexpected movement  after  the  passage  disintegration of  of the  the Nineteenth  Following World War I, the "millenial change" which nineteenth-century  writers  from  the  twentieth  American Amendment.  separated  century,  the  womanly  ideal in the United States shifted from the plump matron to the flapper. Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald, the quintessential  Southern  "belle," and  husband, F. Scott Fitzgerald, became symbols of the frenetic  her "post-war  "Jazz Age." But Zelda's international fame was based on her beauty, charm, and "wild" eccentricity, while she craved to be recognized as a writer. She details her anguish and frustration  in her  haunting  a u t o b i o g r a p h y . Save Me the Waltz. ^ Women of the post-World War I "lost generation" (as expatriate male artists of this period themselves)  experienced  discontinuity  and  disruption  as  increasing distress, since male critics and artists refused  styled  well  as  to include  women in the top ranks of art. "Within the academic [and critical]  142 institutions  of  marginalized"  American and  literature,  "frustration,  women poets and novelists (Showalter  1991:125,120).  themselves  were  were  fragmentation  generally In  accomplished little following women  women  during  France,  increasingly  and  silencing  the  1920's and  women's  ...  plagued 1930's"  movements  the First World War, partly because the  divided  along  socio-economic  and  religious  lines, partly because of the heterosocial nature of French society, partly because  the  intellectual  and  "salonniere"  tradition  produced  more  philosophers than activists (Sarde 475) and partly, no doubt, because of the intense shock of the war itself. The  Displaced  Grandmother  Showalter suggests, in her essay on "American Gynocriticism," in the twentieth century Persephone "woman fruit  writer  who dwells  has represented  in the underworld  the figure  among  of  that the  the  supernatural  of letters and books." Eating the "pomegranate seed"  represented  an "exile from the Mother Country" and an initiation into a masculine world of  art, experience, language and literary  her from  her mother and from  "Persephone  experience,"  continuity from  tradition  her American female  Showalter  concludes,  that  literary  "disrupts  separated precursors.  the flow  of  generation to generation; older women have nothing  to  share that is of interest to these daughters" (124). In "Old Mrs. Harris" (1932), Gather suggests that success for modern  young  women  lies in breaking  with the homemaking  patterns  of their mothers and grandmothers to follow the path of education and careers. Gather's literary stance toward the maternal My Antonia  is ambivalent.  In  (1918), the archaic, primal Mother is exalted in an elegiac  roman du terroir.  In "Old Mrs. Harris," the culture of the by-gone South  143 (America's trope for the maternal pastoral) is shown to be pathetically, even tragically, inadequate in the face of modern  industrialization  commercialism.  for women's  in modern  The old patterns no longer suffice  technological  and  survival  society.  Old Mrs. Harris represents the values of the ante-bellum South, a complex hierarchical society built upon a network of kinship and obligations,  "where there were plenty of landless people glad to render  service to the more fortunate,"  tenuously transplanted  Colorado, a "snappy little Western democracy" South's hierarchical  to Skyline,  (Gather  structure and class distinctions  1932:113). The  reveal its society  to  be maternal only in its basis in the reproductivity of the land, mirrored as the exploited, or sacrificial, mother.'^ forth  the idealized  Very explicitly. Gather sets  code of institutionalized  motherhood  governing  the  rhythm of a middle-class woman's life, a code Gather will conclude by undermining and, in part, rejecting: "Young girls, in the South, were supposed to be carefree and foolish"; when the young "belle" marries and begins to have children, "everything must give way to that ... because having children was hard on a woman, and it was the most important thing in the world." The older women, widowed and past child-bearing  age, lived in the background,  "managed  the  household  economies and directed the help" (110). For these older women, especially those who owned their own homes, as did Mrs. Harris, there was always extra help and company. Although  the young  married  couple entertained in the parlor, and the old women "spent most of their lives in the kitchen and pantries and back dining-room they ordered life to their own taste, entertained  ... there  their friends,  dispensed  charity, and heard the troubles of the poor" (111). Glass privilege  144 permitted older women of the "aristocracy" to continue to give parties, drive out in carriages, and "go North" in the summer as they aged, while a middle-class  or country  widow  with  married  herself an old woman, "wore full-gathered bonnet,  and  became a housekeeper"  daughters  considered  black dresses and a black  (111).  Keeping up "appearances," by maintaining  class markers  that  signify respectability is all-important: Mrs. Harris "could go on a good way ... if they always had a cool, pleasant parlour, with Victoria properly  dressed  to receive  visitors"  (114). As Wasserman  comments,  keeping Victoria a "belle" and the properly treated mistress of the house, is "the last mark of distinction [Mrs. Harris] can preserve" (57), to indicate that the family has not fallen into such poverty that one can no longer keep up appearances.  "Appearances" concern the "right way"  do things, those details which signify  to  "who one is," subtly delineating  one's place in the complex unspoken network of privilege, service and obligations.  In  Skyline,  "appearances,"  an elaborately  wrought  illusion  presented to the world at large by all members of the Templeton household,  do not count. The Westerners, representative of the new  values of individualism and materialism, are critical, and, at various times, all three adult Templetons silently wish themselves back in their now-mythologized  world of Tennessee, where Hillary can be a  gentleman, Victoria an admired "belle," and Mrs. Harris a reigning matriarch, owner of her own home and center of a community web. A comparison of the similarities and crucial  dissimilarities  between Grandmother Harris and Mrs. Blackett illustrates some of shifts  in the portrayal of the grandmother in the dislocation  the  following  the dissolution of the domestic sphere. Both women serve as living  145 wellsprings of maternal generativity,  values and powers, especially those of  insight, and healing. Both operate in the  background,  leaving the more active public life to their daughters, yet both are sources of profound  intuitive understanding  of  moral  actions  and  arbiters of who "belongs" to their spiritual kinship. The values which these two women incarnate are those of dying worlds, ways of life which  have passed  the Yankee  into mythical  time. Technological  sea-captain and the Southern  the close of  the nineteenth  century  gentleman  ante-bellum  change  rendered  obsolete, and by  Southern  culture  was  becoming as much a memory as the small New England maritime village. More importantly, both locales are settings for maternal enthroned  by  sentimental  twentieth-century  women  fiction, writers  the like  "traditional Gather  found  femininity"  values  which  inimicable  to  art.  While Mrs. Blackett is cast as a spiritual grandmother, old Mrs. Harris is sacrificial, abject. The sacrificial, indeed, almost cannibalistic, aspect of feminine old age is pronounced as Grandmother Harris is devoured and consumed by her family, who use her assets and labor to maintain  themselves  in the new  "snappy  little  democracy,"  where  money has replaced land ownership as the medium for wealth. In contrast to Mrs. Blackett, who is able to remain in tune with the old ways of Dunnet Landing, Mrs. Harris has been removed from security of her own community  with  "comfortable,  "plenty of  rambling"  the  (82) Tennessee home and  helpers" (110)^ to a raw Golorado Plains  town, in the name of "progress," that is, her son-in-law's desire to "better himself" (112). In the circumstances of this new life, she is deprived  of her economic independence  by this son-in-law  who has  appropriated the proceeds from the sale of her house to "invest." She no  146 longer has access to or use of her funds, as she discovers when she asks Hillary for her money to give to Vickie for college; "... invested," she thought, "that was a word men always held over women ... and it always meant they could have none of their own money" (138). In the Templetons' small rented house, she and her "things" are required to be invisible (84): she is not to receive visitors alone (76) or gifts (81); her quarters are a little cluttered passageway off  the kitchen with no  privacy and a hard, slatted lounge for a bed; she has no "proper place to wash" and keeps her comb in her pocket (156). If the key to Mrs. Blackett's eminence is her profound understanding of nature and the familial transcendent,  community of spirit as  the cornerstone of Mrs. Harris's sacrificial  nobility is the  dignity of humble, unselfish service to the welfare of others. Mrs. Harris's creed is based upon caring for others at the expense of self, a "feminine"  value that functions  when everyone in the community  is  extending care to each other in a web of understood relationships and obligations.^  Her happiness and well-being come in conjunction  with,  not at the expense of, those of others. Her lot is irrevocably tied to the "family fortunes — any comfort for herself aside from that of the family, was inconceivable to her" (115). Skyline prefers the values of self and individuation, however, and Mrs.  Harris's fostering of the family  welfare at the expense of her own appears pitiful, since it is not reciprocal. "To be pitied was the deepest hurt anybody could know," she mourns (83). Indeed, the fact that adhering to what was most noble in her moral code contributes to her abjection is one of the ironies of her situation.  147 In In A Different identity  is defined  Voice  by attachment  men tend to have difficulty trouble of  with  individuation  participating  Carol Gilligan argues that female gender by separation;  while  with relationships, women tend to have (8).  community,  and threatened  Without  Grandmother  these feminine  differences  Harris's  network  become a code  of behavior that "appears" to give women power, whether as a capricious  "belle" or managing household doyenne,  while in reality  binding them firmly to their roles as sex object, mother and invisible caretaker.  Both women feel  themselves unable to control  the  circumstances of their lives. Mrs. Harris must respond to the needs of others. Women, especially old women, she believes, "couldn't  say  when  or where they would stop" since they "were tied to the chariot of young life, and had to go where it went, because they were needed" (83). Mrs. Harris's perception of "having to go because she is "needed,"  obscures  the fact that she must live with her daughter's family, since her own home has been sold, and that she is perceived more as a burden and servant. Anne Scott in The Southern 1830-193  Lady:  From Pedestal  to  Politics  0^^ notes that idealization of the mother's role in Southern  society concealed the darker side of maternity:  "only in private could  women give voice to the misery of endless pregnancies, with  attendant  illness, and the dreadful fear of childbirth, a fear based on fact" (30).^ ^ Finding herself pregnant with her sixth child, Victoria sobs that "she is sick of dragging this chain of life that never let her rest and periodically knotted  and overpowered  her"  (148).  While Gather exposes the underside of the matriarchal pastoral — women's enchainment  to the reproductive process of on-going  life  the tendency of men to remain boys — she also pays tribute to the  and  148 fading values of selfless love, humble dignity and noble service to others which Mrs. Harris embodies, through the character of Mrs. Rosen, the cultured  Jewish  matron  whose  perceptions  drawn from  a wider, more cultivated  and judgments  experience than the  are  limited  perspective of Skyline's other residents. Mrs. Rosen finds Mrs. Harris "impressive" and noble in her "absence of self-consciousness, preoccupation"  (70). She enjoys  visiting the Templetons  vanity,  because  felt a pleasantness in the human relationships," an absence of exactness or competition  (95). The children cluster around  "one struggle,  their  grandmother while she reads aloud in the evening, or when they are sick. Grandmother Harris's power is that of unselfish love, a Christ-like spiritual power which Gather underscores as Mandy, the hired  girl,  symbolically washes the old woman's feet, "one of the oldest rites of compassion"  (80).  Nevertheless, understand  both  Grandmother  that the patterns must  Harris  be broken.  and  her  granddaughter  Despite the  indifference  of Vickie's parents to her desire for an education, Mrs. Harris asks the Rosens to ensure that Vickie has the necessary funds to supplement her scholarship. Virtually the old woman's last act, the guarantee of an education  permits  Vickie to undertake an individuation  break the maternal  pattern  and lead Mrs. Harris's  which  will  grand-daughter,  for a  while at least, far away from the maternal traditions of the old South. Death  of  the  Dismantling  Matriarch the domestic  sphere and  its maternal  discourse  the woman writer to pursue her art and tackle themes and which previously  freed  perspectives  had been reserved for the masculine purview  of  "literature." In "The Jilting of Granny Weatherall" (1929), Katherine Ann  149 Porter portrays the strong old matriarch of maternal discourse, but also exposes as hoaxes the religious and romantic beliefs upon which traditional  women tried to construct their lives. Ellen Weatherall's  dying  hours, in which she sums up and evaluates her life, provide occasion for Porter to examine  the conflicts  between  femininity  and  individual  freedom and to question the tenets of the "Old Order," which for the Texas-born writer, as for Gather, were the mores of southern  Society,  especially  the  idealized  maternity  ante-bellum of  nineteenth-  century women's fiction. As in Gather's "Old Mrs. Harris," Ellen's death represents the summing up and end of the old maternal  patterns.  Porter uses a melange of dreams, memories, speech and semiconscious thought to portray the essential conflicts of Weatherall's  life and describe the forging  Granny  of a matriarch.  Independence  and strength for Ellen Weatherall come by living through the problems presented by a woman's life cycle. In her early life, traditional  feminine  values, symbolized by the young Ellen's Spanish comb and her painted fan, promised happiness through romantic love and the marriage  to her  "beau," represented  "belle's"  by George, the faithless  bridegroom  who fails to appear on her wedding day. Instead she married John, whose role is to provide her with a mature feminine identity as wife and mother. John proved a good husband, giving her children and a house anyway — "Better than I hoped for even" (86). Left a widow with several children to raise after John's death, she learns to provide a living for them: She had fenced in a hundred acres once, digging the post holes herself and clamping the wires with just a negro boy to help. That changed a woman ... Digging post holes changed a woman. (83)  150 The role of widowed mother teaches her about power: she is responsible  for  everything,  nurtures  her children,  and creates her  and others' order. She controls chaos, suggested by the night-time  own fog  rising, by lighting the lamps for the children. Nursing the sick, she presides over life and death, hardly ever losing one of her patients. Through life's processes, she has moved from dependent  beauty,  through  the maternal  a feminine,  power of  powerless,  birthing  and  nurturing life, to an androgynous Crone power in which she provides everything and creates her own order. At each stage, she has evolved, finally acquiring a presence that makes John seem like a child now, although "she used to think of him as a man." He would not recognize her, either, she knows, because he would be seeking her  former  feminine self, the young woman with the "Spanish comb in her hair" (83). Although Ellen Weatherall's story is based upon that of paternal  grandmother,  Ellen  is in many  respects  Porter's  the archetypal  who experiences her vulnerability and sense of being  "danced  female and  rattled ... in the everlasting hand of God" (85). She becomes a matriarch by meeting the needs of others. Through her. Porter explores themes of birth and death, individuality  and motherhood,  order and chaos.  "Over and over ... Porter's women must discover that love is usually  attended  by death, and that independence is almost  always  lonely," Jane Demouy comments. Porter's women struggle with  the  tension between a desire to be feminine, in traditional terms, and a desire, not to be alone, but to be free (206). The emerging feminine persona, power  who rejects  thereby,  subjugation,  struggles  with  accepts  independence,  the persistent  values  of  and  gains  traditional  151 femininity which still hold sway in her unconscious. For Porter, the struggle was "in the blood," in the puzzle of being female, which she experienced as duality: a woman could have love or work but not both. A nurturer of life. Granny Weatherall  represses death, which wells  up in her subconsciousness as "black smoke" and fog. Yet her perspective  has been  shaped  by two profound  symbolic deaths  whose  memories intermingle in the last few hours before her physical  death.  These two "deaths" have marked her transit from  maiden to mother,  and from mother to old woman, seeming to corroborate Simone de Beauvoir's observation in "De la maturite a la vieillesse" {Le Sexe)  Deuxieme  that "les passages d'un stade a un autre sont d'une dangereuse  brutalite; ils se trahissent par des crises beaucoup plus decisives que chez le male: puberte, initiation sexuelle, menopause" (399). The third death will mark her departure from  life.  The first death occurred on that long-ago wedding day — "such a green day with no threats in it" (84) — when George jilted her. On her deathbed. Granny ponders what she had lost that day, since "she was given back everything he took away and more" (86). There was something ... but agony wells up in her, "a monstrous frightening  shape  with cutting edges" (86), an image akin to both childbirth and a symbolic death, a feeling of falling through space in which all physical limits  have disappeared,  which  she experienced  Demouy regards Ellen's loss as three-fold.  that  terrible  Through George's  day. betrayal,  she has suffered the loss of identity, of sexual passion, and most significantly, of "the ability to believe" (49). It is the loss of her faith in romantic love, the end of her youthful trust, that is the worst. "The something not given back is her elemental faith that 'God's in His  152 Heaven, all's right with the world.' ... Never again can she put faith in any order that she has not created herself" (49). Her second "death" takes place at age 60 and marks the end of motherhood's power, a phase represented by the ghost of Hapsy, her favorite child who died in childbirth. Mrs. Weatherall has prepared to die, made a will and visited relatives, but only suffers a fever and is soon well. Her children now see her as "Granny" and humor her whims as if she were a child. She tries to retain her former power by giving advice and dreams of "moving back to her own house, where nobody could remind her every minute that she was old" (82). Christian and mythological images of death well up in Ellen's dreams and memories. She dreams of a man driving a cart. She climbs into the cart, but cannot see the driver's face, the face of death: "It's not time!" she exclaims. Everything exists in life, and she is not ready to leave. Death is like a jilting bridegroom: there is nothing there, she discovers. Death is absence despite life's rituals and hopes. Her Catholicism had promised that she would "see people," again, like John and her favorite child, Hapsy, but death, she discovers, is just the lamp going out. At death, Jesus, who according to the Church waits to help the faithful  into heaven, like George, is not there. Again she is betrayed:  there is no substance behind the promises of the priest and the Church's ceremonies. Jesus becomes the jilting lover, and again there is no sign from God. "I'll never forgive it," she vows, in full rebellion. Birth  and  death  are intertwined  in the archetypal  mother/crone.  Granny Weatherall experiences the pains of dying as memories of childbirth and calls out to John, "my time has come" (86). In the infancy of old age, death comes full circle as a womblike darkness. Curled in a  153 fetal position, she watches as the point of blue light, which represents Cornelia's blue-shaded bed-side lamp but also the "lamp" of life and order which the matriarch has kept lit against chaos, begins to fade and grow dim. In death, the light gradually goes out, and darkness returns. At this last moment, realizing her final betrayal by the heavenly bridegroom, Ellen assumes control, chooses death, and blows out the light. Aging  Beauties  and  Mother/Daughter  Rivalries  When women — or at least women writers — remain psychologically  their fathers'  daughters, no matter how old they  chronologically,  development  through  the maternal  cycle of  mother and crone is truncated. The crone no longer experiential  wisdom;  her  postmenopausal  the regenerative possibilities forgotten.  While  mothers as abject  of  body  no  maid,  represents  longer  symbolizes  "wise blood"; her womb-cauldron  twentieth-century  daughters  may  or controlling, they rendered  have  their  become  regarded  is their  domestic  grandmothers repressive or invisible. She is the one who wants to spoil Little Red Riding Hood's fun, Cixous insists in "Le Sexe ou la tete?". The grandmother, she argues, stands in the place of the Great Mother and represents "cette espece de jalousie, de la femme qui ne peut pas lacher sa fille" (6). One of the prevailing modern issues between the maiden and the crone in women's fiction — and a much older theme in France — is that of sexuality and aging beauty, whether it is the daughter's horror of the aging female  body (which presages the young woman's  passage  into "lack" of desirability) or the older woman's erotic attraction to and for  younger  men.  154 "Reading the body," or a culture's notions of beauty and ugliness, can reveal  through metaphor its concepts and valuation of the  feminine  and of feminine old age. At the turn of the century, matronly figures were considered  beautiful.  "weightiness of form" of  maternity  to Banner.  Plumpness, with large hips, bosoms  was preferred,  and containment  of  in keeping with the  sexuality  within  participation psychological  their  in the community of married, maternal and cultural  valorization  of  media advertising following  according  contented  women"  the father's  coincided with a pervasive use of youthful  "valorization  marriage,"  "Through weight, older women signified  and  (281). The  daughter,  which  feminine sexuality by mass  the end of World War I, enshrined the  boyish figure of the adolescent girl as the norm of feminine attractiveness.  Earlier  notions  of  women's  superior  morality,  which  had  underlain views of vital aging and positive evaluation of aging women were undermined. dieting  were  By the  1920's, according to Banner, thinness  "in"; Rubenesque  figures  and matronly  and  appearance  were  out of fashion (284). In her story, "An Old Beauty" (written in 1936 but not published until 1948, after her death), Willa Gather uses the figure of an aged woman to mourn the passing of the "old order" as well as to reflect on the aging feminine body as a ruined temple of beauty. Lady Gabrielle Longstreet's  slender  willowy  figure  and  self-absorption  indicate  her  psychological state as the daughter who never grows up. In contrast to Porter's  Granny  strength  through  Weatherall, meeting  who acquires  maternal  knowledge,  challenges.  Gather's  remains the faded celebrity socialite, a heteira emptiness and passivity, to reflect  the projections  opinions Lady  and Longstreet  perfectly suited, in her of male desire.  155 Recalling "La Belle au bois dormant," she is described as "unawakened," and her admirers, who are called  "Great Protectors," seem more  fatherly  or avuncular than lovers. In many respects, Gabrielle Longstreet is viriginal, narcissistic and, in her advancing years, "old maidish." An anachronism  steeped in the Edwardian manners and dress of her  youth,  she cannot bridge the social changes following the War; in death she appears relieved of the necessity of Modern  exisiting.  Jocastas  In France, the theme of romantic or sexual relations between an older woman and younger man, or the education the courtesan or demi-mondaine  sentimentale  initiates the young man into  mysteries of love, linked erotic love with maternal affection. and La Fin de Cheri, published in 1920 and portrays an aging woman's love affair years  younger,  exploring  the  in which  In  1926 respectively,  the Cheri Colette  with a handsome young man 24  relationship's  psychological  consequences.  Both novels revolve around the theme of the "'pure' and incurable love of a young man for an older woman" (Marks 126). Colette maintains a dual perspective on the character of Leonie Vallon, or Lea, who, in her forties, is nearing the end of her career as a richly kept courtesan. From the perspective of  her young  son-lover,  she represents the  devouring  mother, with fatal results. From her own perspective, as well as that of her peers and "cronies," she has made a successful, even contented, passage into middle-age, discovering  the pleasure that comes from  longer having to sustain romantic illusions. Colette has summarized  no the  situation between Lea and Cheri as follows: I simply wanted to say that when a middle-aged woman has a liaison with a very young man, she runs less of a risk than he of  156 remaining ineffaceably marked by it. No matter what he does, through all the liaisons that will follow, he will be unable not to evoke the memory of his old mistress. (Quoted in Marks 127)i 2 I n Cheri, Colette focuses upon the issue of the aging body; the story ends as Lea realizes the impossibility of continuing their affair and sends Cheri back to his wife. In La Fin de Cheri, Cheri cannot accept Lea's transformation fatally  into a gray-haired,  entrapped  in the memory  asexual,  middle-aged  of her maternal  woman  and  sensuality.  A group of aging women, "les vieilles parasites" (69) of the monde  is  demi-  gather regularly for cards and brandy at Charlotte Peloux's  large home on the outskirts of Paris, squabbling, gossiping and  growing  older. The process of aging, together with its bravery, its fear, its boredom and its regrets, for these women whose life has revolved exclusively  around  beauty  and  love, is perceptively  delineated  through  these old cronies: Baroness de la Berche, Mme Aldonza, Marie Laure, and Old Lili, the comic, wrinkled septuagenarian married to the vapid young Prince Ceste (a name which plays upon "incest"), in a grotesque alliance that parodies the affair  between Lea and Cheri. The  relationship  between these women is summed up in Colette's description of and  Charlotte's  Lea's  friendship:  Vingt annees, un pass6 fait de ternes soirees semblables, le manque de relations, cette defiance aussi, et cette veulerie qui isolent vers la fin de leur vie les femmes qui n'ont aime que d'amour, tenaient I'une devant 1'autre, encore un soir, en attendant un autre soi, ces deux femmes, une a 1'autre suspectes. {Cheri 75) From Lea's perspective as an aging courtesan, as well as those of her circle, her existence is taken up with diversions to stave off  boredom  and loneliness, worries about wrinkles which reduce the likelihood of a  158 "Dors ... dors" she repeats to him over and over, like a hypnotic chant, and as he sleeps he seems to her like the "nourrisson  mechanf  to which  she had never given birth. The next morning, he pretends to be asleep until she rises and leaves the room, after which he opens the window, exclaiming "On etouffe" (145). She fusses over him as he drinks his chocolat until finally he says mournfully, "Avec toi, Nounoune, il y a des chances pour que j'aie douze ans pendent un demi-siecle"  (146).  Abandoning her joyous plans for their life together, she angrily  realizes  the impossibility of continuing the liaison; the parallel between  them  and Old Lili's marriage to Prince Ceste is cruelly apparent. She painfully urges him to "chercher ta jeunesse" and return to his wife, who "souffrira  comme une amoureuse et non pas comme une mam an  devoyee," where he will be a master and not a "gigolo  capricieux"  (151).  The child, concludes Colette, cannot attain adulthood within the mother's womb. The ending of their relationship strikes a deep blow to Lea, however, since not only does she lose Cheri, but it signals her death as a desirable mistress, as a woman. "The difference  between Lea and Lili,"  according to Marks, is that for Lea, love-making must cease when beauty fades" (134). Chdri's departure coincides with the end of Lea's sexual life, and the arrival of her "autumnal years" (138). Their last meeting takes place five years later, after the war in which Cheri has served as a soldier. Still seeking his Nounoune, an older Cheri pays Lea a surprise visit in her new living quarters. To his shock, he discovers Lea colossaily fat, with short, vigorous gray hair, a reddened abandoned  complexion, her corset  and and  most disconcertingly wears  all-purpose,  asexual. rather  She  has  masculine,  tailored  159 blouse-and-skirt  "uniforms."  Years earlier, as a courtesan, she  seldom  laughed, but smiled often — un "sourire profond et confiant" (Cheri Now an aging woman nearing sixty, she frequently  66).  bursts into long  peals of deep, silvery laughter. She has entered the elder woman phase of life, relaxed, comfortable with herself and her life. "J'aime bien mon passe," she tells Chdri calmly. "J'aime bien mon present. Je n'ai pas honte de ce que j'ai eu, je n'ai pas de chagrin de ce que je n'ai plus" {La Fin 188). A survivor. Lea is, as Marks has noted, "one of the most solid members of the 'Colette-Sido' clan" (129), the "stoical, wise" characters who embody a sturdy maternal love. Through acceptance of her old age. Lea has become a "whole woman, "the kind of older woman to whom Simone de Beauvoir grants grudging approval in Le  Deuxieme  Sexe:  Du jour oil la femme consent a vieillir, sa situation change. Jusqu'alors, elle etait una femme encore jeune, acharnee a lutter contre un mal qui mysterieusement I'enlaidissait et la deformait; elle devient un etre different, asexue mais acheve: une femme agee. (408)13 In Colette's novels, the aging woman, whether mistress (Lea) or mother (Sido) is celebrated. Lea has renounced Cheri because she recognizes that the education  sentimentale  relationship should not be a  permanent one but one which, in theory, prepares the young man  for  his own marriage and adulthood. In a sense. Lea becomes a Jocasta, gently pushing her young son-lover away. However, the author's aim, as mentioned earlier in this section, was to explore the dynamics of a love affair  between an older mistress and a very young man, showing that  the middle-aged mistress was likely to suffer impressionable CMri  lover.  So, although  less than the young,  Lea renounces other lovers  (after  there could be no others), she continues to live actively, with  160 friends and interests. Cheri's sense of self remains fused with a Nounoune who no longer exists. Frozen forever as a young gigolo in his early twenties, he cannot live outside the world Lea created for him and commits suicide, devoured by an eroticized maternal love. In the French culture, the feminine ambiance is seen as very powerful,  almost more so  than the male: "La Franfaise [est] ... la mere des arts aussi bien que des armes, la piece maitresse dans le grand jeu du savoir-vivre fran9ais, le mythe de la France eternelle" (Sarde 43). Colette has contrasted the vigor and resilience of the middle-aged woman with the fragility of the young  man-child. In American  literature, feminine  marriage and sexual man  are usually  sexuality  outside  relations between an older  represented  as having  the bounds of  woman and  shameful,  younger  negative  consequences for the woman rather than for the man. In Edith Wharton's  novel, A Mother's  dearly for her sexual freedom daughter  in competition  for  Recompense  (1925), Kate Clephane  pays  in a plot that sets mother against masculine  affection.  Finding marriage stifling, Kate has left her husband and threeyear-old daughter to live a gay bohemian life in Europe and escape from  "reality and durability" (5). At the story's opening nearly two  decades later, she is forty-four years old, alone with her maid in a rundown hotel on the French Riviera, isolated from family, with few friends. Aging, she dreams vainly about her last tenuous affair  well  over three years ago with Chris, a much younger man. In spite of the hurt of his disinterest, he represents her sexual telegram  of  invitation  from  her now-grown  "awakening." A  daughter,  Anne,  summons  her back to New York where she is welcomed home lavishly as Anne's  161 mother. The unscrupulous  Chris has met Anne through  family  connections. Chris and Anne, who knows nothing of her mother's with him in Europe years earlier, announce their engagement.  affair  Kate's  dilemma is to say nothing and live with her lie, or confess the truth, wounding  her daughter  and revealing  her own sexuality. Anne and  Chris marry, and Kate flees to Europe after confessing the truth to Fred Lander, an old family friend who wishes to marry her. In atonement for her failed  maternity and her sexuality, she resumes a shallow,  meaningless life at the Riviera resort, with France as her symbolic "home." She refuses  to marry Fred, although she acknowledges  that  conventional opinion would consider that his love and offer of marriage, despite knowing  "everything,"  constitute the  "best thing that had  happened to her" (341). Thus Kate, who in some respects  ever  resembles  Jewett's Joanna, chooses an isolated old age among boring, expatriate drifters.  With her need for self-punishment,  she will ensure that the  despicable Chris will remain the only man she has ever loved; she will also have  maintained  her freedom  does double duty, satisfying  and  independence.  Kate's  penance  both the moralist and the feminist:  it  assures her interiorization of moral shame and guilt, without the possibility  of  self-forgiveness,  and  preserves  her freedom  from  marriage. It also portends a lonely, alienated old age. To merit inclusion in the canon of  "literature-as-art,"  rather than  "women's fiction,"  women  like Kate or Hester Prynne who transgressed sexually have to suffer "pay the moral price" even if, in the secular, tolerant twentieth  and  century,  it is self-imposed. The implication is that women of aristocratic pretensions, whether social or canonic, were required to evince  more  "shame" for their sensuality than women of socially lower classes, the  162 demi-monde,  or "women's" romance. The  Mother's  Recompense  examines the mother's and daughter's sexual rivalry for love of same man, a theme which plays out the Freudian  the  psychoanalytic  theory  of rivalry for the husband's or father's love but which can just as easily, although  less respectably  implications  seen  in  (perhaps because of  modern  the Great  Jocasta-Oedipus  dramas),  Mother  be  competition  for the son as lover. Writers homosocial favor  of  of  Wharton's  women's  transitional  generation  culture and literature  modern heterosexual  fiction.  of  Often  left  behind  the nineteenth characterized  the century  by  in  unhappy  endings, this new fiction struggled to portray issues and topics, such as the  "career woman,"  had been forbidden advertising  of  sexuality, and  erotic relationships,  which  material a generation earlier. The burst of  which accompanied  the expansion youthful  feminine  American  the post-war  business  culture  exploited  of the  sexuality  beauty as the ideal. For the American  writer,  1920's  and  and  portrayed  modernism's  focus on the body of the aging beauty deposes the spiritual grandmother  and  the women's  community  in favor  of  exploring  women's erotic relationships with men. For the French writer, material  was already an important  theme in  traditional  this  French  culture;  it remained for these writers to explore the feminine body and women's erotic  relationships  in  terms  of  psychoanalytic  and  existentialist  thought. In Colette's fiction, it was often the young male who was fragile and susceptible in the face of the powerful  maternal eroticism of the  older mistress. In American fiction, the woman had to "suffer" for her erotic adventures, and doubly so if she was a "mother." By the 1950's, American experts such as Karl Menninger, Helene Deutsch, and Karen  163 Horney  had concluded  women and younger The  that  men  Persephones'  "cross-age  were pathological"  Journey  Discontinuity,  relationships  to  dislocation,  the  between  aging  (Banner 302).  Underworld  alienation  literary elderly women and their fictional  were  themes  expressed  by  characters as the solidarity of  the women's culture continued to break down. The  greatest  discontinuity and dislocation might be said to be women's  alienation  from their own gender. "Being an artist, historically, meant being a man (and a privileged, white, erudite one to boot)," Ammons comments. "Ironically being a successful,  serious woman writer often  meant  saying  that one was not a woman writer or writer of color — that gender or gender and race (even as one wrote almost obsessively about  nothing  else) did not operate as part of the definition of who one was. Then as now," she concludes, both the "benefits and the cost of this denial were considerable" (11). "Hating one's mother was the enlightenment of the pre-feminist  1950's and  1960's," Showalter notes in Sister's  since the daughter  shares the maternal  continues  her" (138). The daughter's  to haunt  mother and grandmother,  culminating in the  painful journey, ultimately identity, a difficult 1970's  body, the dead  resulting in alienation from  from  her  1960's, was a her own  impasse. Only since the feminist movements of the  has recognition  of  this  impossible  separation  undergirded  recent attempts at synthesis and reunion with the mother maintaining  "but  mother  estrangement  1950's and  Choice,  the gains made in the patriarchal  In Le Deuxieme  Sexe,  more  while  world.  published in France in 1949, de Beauvoir  speaks of menopause as "'I'age dangereux'  ... caracterise par certains  troubles organiques" (399). Drawing heavily on the work of the  164 Freudian Heldne Deutsch, de Beauvoir gives example after example of post-menopausal  women  indulging  in eccentric  behavior,  such  as  affairs  with younger men or women, or trying vainly to make a fresh start in life again. At this "dangerous" age, the time of "la definitive mutilation" (400), she maintains that, "La frontiere de I'imaginaire et du reel est encore plus indecise  [dans cette periode] que pendant la puberte" (404).  As Banner confirms,  the "medicalization of menopause" as a disease  strengthened  and  promulgated  the negative  view  that  menopause  was  a  time of instability, of mental and physical breakdown, an idea which served  both  to increase  ambitious  women's  disassociation  from  their  mothers and to define older women as beset with medical problems. In the post-World War II period, women's entry into the work force, professions  and higher  education threatened  men who sought to  regain  control of these areas as part of the male public sphere. Medicalization of menopause,  reinforced  "expert opinion,"  by Freudian  provided  psychology  another means  and confirmed  "to keep powerful  by  [middle-  aged] women at home, medicated and sedated if necessary, and contained,  however  rebelliously,  within  the  287). Achieving women were considered  women's  sphere"  (Banner  "masculine," a term that  would  keep a generation of women "in their place" (287). It would also heighten the sense of displacement and confusion  for women artists and  writers, who would need to leave their mothers in a search for "masculinity" in order to gain access to a subject position and a "voice." The psychological independent  concept  of an autonomous,  "self," a concept which had evolved by mid-century  the "authentic being" of existentialists Jean-Paul Beauvoir  self-sufficient,  and Abraham  Maslow's  and  Betty  into  Sartre and Simone de  Friedan's  "self-actualized"  165 person, came to overshadow which became characterized  maternal as  values of caring and  "dependent"  or  community,  "inauthentic." The  "caring  mother," of whom D.W. Winnicott's "good-enough mother" is a variant, came to be regarded as a dangerous model by aspiring female  writers  and, by society in general, as a pathetic creature, malevolent or mad in her frustrated  desire for  phallic power. 14 As discussed in detail in  Chapter 3, the influence of Freudian psychology in deposing the mother and maternal attempting  values was profound.  to disavow  their  mothers  disassociation which is difficult, In  this  chapter,  various  Women have found, alienates  them  however,  from  that  themselves, a  if not impossible, to maintain. twentieth-century  attitudes  toward  aging  women in America and France have been examined through analysis of women's written choosing  texts. Literary frequently  texts  which  were considered  by women who chose  to remain  "important"  were  "daughters,"  "art" over motherhood. The texts by Gather and Porter  signify  the death of the religious and social patterns from  which  century  The themes of  femininity  and  maternity  were constructed.  texts by Gather, Wharton, Golette, and de Beauvoir  nineteenth-  focused  the  particularly  on the aging woman's sexuality, body, and desire. Frequently  women's  old age was depicted as a lonely, isolating, even "diseased" time, in contrast to the freshness, appeal and desirability of youth. Golette, on the other hand, celebrates the older woman, while questioning  the  psychological impact of her eroticised maternal love on the young boy. Motherhood  came to be discredited,  especially  derived notions such as "mother fixation"  through  and American  Freudian"momism,"  which gained momentum after the end of World War II. The  166 marginalization  of  institutionalization  older for  women,  "nervous  especially breakdowns,"  through  medicalization  peaked  in  the  and  1950's.  In the next chapter, I will explore more recent efforts on the part of women  theorists  (grand)mothers,  to re-open avenues of communication  whether  through  Irigaray's  notion  of  with  their  "connected  autonomy" or Carole Gilligan's synthesis of "masculine" and  "feminine"  modes in an "ethics of care." These theories also represent quite distinct efforts  to enable woman-as-subject  patriarchal  discourse.  Michel  to speak and be heard in spite of  Foucault's  concept of  "genealogy"  suggests  the possibility for the various voices of "the other," including those of women, to emerge and be  "heard."  167  NOTES ^See The Daughter's Seduction: Feminism Cornell University Press, 1982).  and  Psychoanalysis  (Ithaca,  New  York:  ^The "daughter" un-powers" (demystifies) the Mother by "empowering" herself through motherhood. Until the daughter herself becomes a parent, the mother often remains identified with the Mother figure of the super-ego. With the daughter's movement into the parenting stage of life, she and her mother become more like peers, both able to understand and see issues from a mother's perspective. •^See  "The  Phallic  Mother:  Fraudian  Analysis"  in  The  Daughter's  Seduction.  "^Primary narcissism involves an original lack of separation from the phallic mother in her pre-oedipal omnipotence and contains a death-drive aspect in its desire to return to the womb-tomb, to regain a sense of oneness with all. ^ See Jacques Lacan, Ecrits (Paris: Editions du Seuil, 1966) 692; Ecrits: A Selection, translated, by Alan Sheridan (New York: Tavistock and Norton, 1977) 288. 6 Zelda Fitzgerald. Save Me The Waltz. (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1932 and Southern Illinois University Press, 1967). Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald's story is told in Nancy Milford's Zelda (New York: Harper & Row, 1970). See also Anne Goodwyn Jones. Tomorrow Is Another Day: The Woman Writer in the South, 1859-1936 (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1981) for a discussion of the code of the Southern lady and Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind. 'See Annette Kolodny. The Lay of the Land. Metaphor as Experience and History in American Life and Letters (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1975) for an analysis of the American idealization of the land as mother. ^"The hills were full of solitary old women, who were glad to come to Miz' Harris's^ for good food and a warm bed and the little present that either Mrs. Harris or Victoria slipped into their carpet-sack when they went away" (110-111). ^In Philosophy and Feminist Thinking, (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1986), Jean Grimshaw convincingly argues against the assignment of "feminine" and "masculine" traits in a transhistorical, philosophical sense. maintaining that the value of various qualities differs from society to society, group to group, and over time. I think it fair to say that in the ante-bellum code of which Mrs. Harris is an exponent, women were expected to give the appearance of being self-denying and self-sacrificing unless they possessed the means for economic independence. See Anne Goodwyn Jones. Tomorrow is Another Day: The Woman Writer in the South, 1859-1936 for a discussion of Southern codes for women. ^ ^ Anne Firor Scott. The Southern Lady: From Pedestal (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1970).  to Politics  1830-1930  168  ^ ^The fertility rate of southern women consistently exceeded that of women in New England and the Middle Atlantic states. Childbirth and diseases of reproductive organs accounted for 10 percent of the southern female deaths in the 1860 census (Ann Goodwyn Jones, 1981:26). ^2 Frederic Lefevre. "Une heure avec Colette," Les Nouvelles LittSraires. 27, 1926. Quoted in Elaine Marks. Colette (New Brunswick, N.J., Rutgers Press, 1960).  March University  ^ ^De Beauvoir's personal attitudes toward aging were characterized by anxiety and worry about her own appearance. In this passage, her description of the older woman who "accepts" the loss of her youthful appearance and ceases to fight the "ugliness" of old age is off-set by her collaboration with male opinion in assigning asexuality and deformity to old women. Older men are not assumed to be sexually undesirable until they reach advanced old age, at which time the masculine body becomes more "feminized." As Elaine Marks has noted, in de Beauvoir's texts old bodies of either gender are always feminine or feminized bodies (Wenzel, ed., 194). Other French texts demonstrate, however, that the aging woman, herself, is not necessarily categorically "done" with sexuality and content to be a non-player in the game of love, as de Meung's La Vieille and Red Riding Hood's grandmother have shown. ^ '^Philip Wylie's A Generation of Vipers attacked "momism" and singled out older, menopausal women for special vituperation as their desires become their "caprices." "Never before has a great nation of brave and dreaming men absentmindedly created a huge class of idle, middle-aged women. [Their] caprices are of menopausal nature at best: hot flashes, infantilism, weeping, sentimentality, peculiar appetite, and all the ragged reticule, of tricks, wooings, wiles, subordined fornications." (New York: Rinehart, 1942) 186-87.  169  PART III. The  Crone's  Revival  They say she lives among the rotten granite slopes in Tarahumara Indian territory. They say she is buried outside Phoenix near a well. She is said to have been seen traveling south to Monte Alban in a burnt-out car with the back window shot out. She is said to stand by the highway near El Paso, or ride shotgun with truckers to Morelia, Mexico, or that she has been sighted walking to market above Oaxaca with strangely formed boughs of firewood on her back. She is called by many names: La Huesera, Bone Woman; La Trap era, the Gatherer; and La Loba, Wolf Woman. Clarissa Pinkola Estes Women Who Run With  the  Wolves  170 The  CHAPTER 6 Re-Construction of Grandmother's  Voice  Je me suis raconte, raconte, raconte Je me suis raconte des histoires. Edith Piaf "Des Histoires"! Can she speak? Does she have a voice? If she could speak, what would she say? The battle over what constitutes "woman's voice," or a feminine discourse (if, among and between  indeed, there is such an entity) has been heated  French  and American  feminists.  Within the  context  of French culture and language. Luce Irigaray and Helene Cixous have attempted  to identify  themes which  for  language usage,  syntax, imagery  constitute a vehicle for woman's voice as  subject-of-her-desires, Lacanian  patterns  conceptual  in  reference  or reaction  speaking/acting  to Freudian  models of a psychological  or  and  and  linguistic/symbolic  order. American Carol Gilligan has researched the psychology of women's difference  moral from  development,  articulating  through  case  histories  its  normative male standards and calling for the need to  establish a feminine paradigm for the "ethics of care" which would parallel the masculine one of "ethics of self." Among the many critics of these efforts have been the strong voices of  "constructionist"  feminists, who reject any attempt to  define  "woman" or valorize the "goddess" or "feminine," as essentializing and ultimately  "ghetto-izing.  language, an "ecriture jouissance few)  "The French insistence upon the problems of feminine,"  the (sexual) body, and  feminine  (Marguerite Duras, Cixous, Irigaray and Kristeva, to name a  seems to them too abstract and intellectual; it over-estimates  importance of  "word games." The French valorization of  feminine  the  171 "difference''  has been criticized by those feminists, notably Americans,  who support empirical constructions of equality which minimize or, in a legal sense, erase differences  of rights, roles and privileges based upon  gender. In France, the power of reproductive motherhood still profound  meaning, and the  "feminisme  de la non-difference"  has has  been  termed "gynocide," or "la destruction de ce qui en chacun de nous est femme" (Sarde 526). In America, on the other hand, the emphasis has been upon a democratic liberalism, and even those women  scholars,  such as Gloria Fenman Orenstein or Merlin Stone, who have focused on "reviving" the Goddess myth (together with ecofeminism as-Mother)  and the Earth-  have done so not from the perspective of a conservative  "eternal feminine" but as a radical counter to the Judeo-Christian alliance with capitalism and a "phallic" economy. Some critics, such as American Carolyn Burke, have advanced  the distinction that the  concentrate more on feminine  while the Americans focus  feminine tend  oppression.^  to prefer  "facts"  and  abstract  repression,  Perhaps theory,  "histories," surveying  most  fundamentally,  French  French on  intellectuals  while more pragmatic Americans  value  groups and individuals for models and  examples. Thus the French theories of an ecriture  feminine  and  the  American concept of a feminine "ethics of care," examined in this chapter (see figure 3), represent quite distinct efforts as-subjects  to speak in spite of patriarchal  theory  "genealogy"  of  and  to enable  discourse. Michel  "emergence" offers  an alternative  women-  Foucault's construct  which may open the way for emerging women's voices to be "heard."  171A  Figure  3 —  Name Theory I n f l u e n ce Description  Desired outcome  Social  benefit  A Comparison of Theories of Women's Language and Foucauit's "Genealogie". Cixous "I'ecriture feminine" Lacan, Freud Feminine libidinal economy. "Writing the body" restores body's ability to be heard; reunites with "mother," who is creative and nurturing. Ecstatic, mystic. Disruptive of borders and boundaries. Resists classifications of psycho-analytic discourse.  I rigaray "parler femme"  Freud, Lacan Freud, Piaget "Lips" (facial. Examines genital) metaphor differences in the indicates formation of women's moral values in autonomous men and women. connection. Women's moral "Mechanics of ethics stress the fluids:" flowing. contextual rather permeable than abstract or boundaries. absolute. Women privileges stress relationtouching and ship, connectedmultiplicity. ness, continuity. Non-logical, non- r e s p o n s i b i l i t y linear. and care for others; value avoidance of hurt and exploitation. "Selfishness" seen as "bad." Men learn an "ethics of self" which teaches individual achievement, rule-setting, team play. Different values reflected in language.  Nietzsche Process of "archeologie" pays attention to detail, singularity of events. place, time, love. & sentiments to disrupt the momentum of "Same" and listen to "difference." Rejects logic. absolutes, ideal forms. "Emergence" studies the inequity of forces which form social values and institutions. The body seen as a surface reflecting experience. Subjects & objects contextually formed. No "essential" human nature.  "Claiming their bodies" empowers women; restores their ability to experience themselves as subject; reconnects to the semiotic "mother" Dynamic tension between feminine and masculine writing is creative; undoes the work of death.  Touching and connection replace the masculine "gaze." Construction of a female imaginary to articulate woman-asspeaking subject. Creation of a metalanguage: thinking and speaking "woman-assubject" to bring about a paradigm shift.  Expose the process by which the power to create "truth," "knowledge" through discourse establishes social norms and institutions. Recovering the voices of "genealogie" restores health. is recuperative. "life-giving."  Gilligan "ethics of care"  By practicing an "ethics of care" which includes "care for self" as well as care for others, women can abandon selfsacrifice, selfabnegation. Women benefit from learning to include "self" in their care; men benefit from learning "ethics of care."  Foucault "genealogie"  172 Irigaray's  and  Cixous's  Feminine  Imaginary  Luce Irigaray, a former student and colleague of Jacques Lacan, and Helene Cixous have taken up the on-going project of articulating a parler  femme  the feminine  or an ecriture imaginary.  and Cixous's feminine  feminine  Both  which would serve to  Irigaray's  libidinal  theory of  women's  articulate discourse  economy seek to overturn the  hegemony  of philosophical and psychological discourse, in which women are objects  {"VAutre"),  her desire as  and to identify a woman's style in which she speaks  subject.  In Ce Sexe qui n'en est pas un, Irigaray presents a theory of women's discourse or parler  femme  which  counters  patriarchal  discourse and privileges motifs of touch (the tactile, including her "lips" metaphor), a non-logical, non-linear syntax, and images of  fluidity,  based upon an "economy of fluids." Touching and multiplicity are characteristic of these "lips," replacing the speculative gaze of the masculine imaginary. These lips (facial each other, never completely excluding  the other, motifs  1977: 208). Further,  and genital) are two, touching  separated, closed and open, neither of self-touching  the female  and proximity  ever  (Irigaray,  imaginary, according to Irigaray,  privileges a mechanics of fluids  — "continu, compressible, dilatable,  visqueux, conductible, diffusible"  (1977:109)  imaginary of Western culture prefers  solids  — while the  masculine  — "propriete,  production,  ordre, forme, unite, visibilite ... erection" (85).^ Irigaray describes some of the distinguishing "woman's style," or parler  attributes of a  femme:  Ce "style", ou "ecriture", de la femme met plutot feu aux mots fetiches, aux termes propres, aux formes bien construites. Ce  173 "style" ne privilegie pas le regard mais rend toute figure a sa naissance, aussi tactile. ... ha simultaneite serait son "propre" ... Toujours fluide ... ces frottements entre deux infiniment voisins qui font dynamique. Son "style" resiste a, et fait exploser, toute forme, figure, idee, concept, solidement etablis. Ce qui n'est pas dire que son style n'est rien, comme le laisse croire une discursivite qui ne peut le penser. Mais son "style" ne pent se soutenir comme these, ne peut faire I'objet d'une position. Et meme les motifs du "se toucher", de la "proximite" isoles comme tels ou reduits en enoncds, pourraient effectivement passer pour une tentative d'approprier le feminin au discours. (76)4 Characteristics  of Irigaray's purler  femme,  then, include the two  lips as a symbol of a female imaginary based upon touch, an autonomous connectedness (not two, not one), an "economy of  fluids";  and a syntax which does not necessarily privilege linearity, logic or fact. Ce Sexe qui n'en est pas un has elicited a mixed response feminists,  notably  the  controversy  over  bias and whether or not this essentialism  Irigaray's  perceived  among  essentialist  is regressive and counter-  productive. Toril Moi approves of Irigaray's critique of  philosophical  discourse as the "discourse of discourses" (the one which lays down the law for all the others), but focuses on the dilemma which Irigaray's effort to produce a positive theory of femininity poses: "To define woman is necessarily  to essentialize her" (Moi  1985:139).  Irigaray,  according to Moi, is aware of this trap and may, perhaps, seek to undo patriarchal discourse by excessively miming it, as the hysteric the  patriarchal  masculine.^ Moi draws upon Irigaray's work on  mimes feminine  mystics: If the mystic's abject surrender becomes the moment of her liberation, Irigaray's undermining of patriarchy through the overmiming of its discourses may be the one way out of the straitjacket of phallocentrism. (140)  174 But  "hysterical  undermining  miming" and  patriarchal  "abject  surrender"  discourse, and  are unattractive tools  Moi damns  with faint  for  praise.  Speculating on Irigaray's theories of a woman's language, Moi is sharply critical of its effectiveness and wary of its potential for "babble," a tale told by an idiot. Andrea Nye sees Irigaray's version of an ecriture  de la femme  as  an "excess" or "derangement" of the male logic in which women are "always a lack or an inverted reproduction of a masculine (1989:191). Indeed,  the language which  Irigaray describes  subject" has much in  common with the mystical language of ecstasy and union. Nye views this language as the "rediscovered underside of male logic." As such, she writes, ... it continues to be a language of the oppressed, a language without authority, a language which makes no assertions, a language which cries and communicates but cannot establish prescribe. (211)  or  "It is not necessary," she adds, "to revert to the powerless speech of dreamers  and  hysterics"  (216).  Both Julia Kristeva and Cixous place themselves in a different relationship to the question of "babble." Described by Jane Gallop, Kristeva's notion of the "semiotic" posits: ...a more archaic dimension of language, pre-discursive, preverbal, which has to do with rhythm, tone, colour, with all that which does not simply serve for representation. The semiotic is a more immediate expression of the drives and is linked to the bodily contact with the mother before the paternal order of language comes to separate subject from mother. Although it can be examined clearly in the sounds produced by pre-linguistic infants, the semiotic is always traversing language, always a bodily presence disruptive to the sublimated symbolic order. The semiotic is given freer play in works of 'art': it is the poetic  175 dimension of language...[For Kristeva] the semiotic is the locus of force, revolution and art. (124) Kristeva's  maternal,  pre-Oedipal  not synonymous, although paternal  "symbolic."  The  "semiotic"  both are defined [Lacanian]  and  Lacan's  "imaginary"  in contradistinction  imaginary  is conservative  are  to the and  comforting, tends toward closure, and is disrupted by the symbolic. The [Kristevan]  semiotic  is revolutionary,  breaks closure, and disrupts  the  symbolic (124). The danger in Kristeva's theory. Gallop points out, is that the "semiotic" collapses into the "imaginary" — "in other words, that the potential disruption of the maternal becomes the alibi for what actually  functions  the conflict  as a comforting  between  representation"  the conservative  and  (124-25).  disruptive  Retaining  maternal  voices  preserves the ambiguity of the mother, keeping her "both double and foreign" drive  (125), while the pulsating sounds of the maternal  semiotic  creativity. Cixous's feminine libidinal economy and urgings to "write the  body" recall Kristeva's identification of the semiotic as able to disrupt and subvert patriarchal discourse and the symbolic order. In "Le Rire de la Meduse," which is both a description of an ecriture exhortation  feminine  and  an  for women to write, Cixous describes women's imaginary in  similar terms to Kristeva's  "semiotic":  "L'imaginaire des femmes  est  inepuisable, comme la musique, la peinture, i'ecriture: leurs coulees de fantasmes  sont  inouTes" (39).^ Writing the body reconnects the woman  to her body and restores the body's ability to be heard: "L'ecriture est pour toi, tu es pour toi, ton corps est a toi, prends-le" (40).^ It is also disruptive of order and boundaries. Writing  "through the body"  Cixous immediately into contact with the metaphorical  brings  mother, not a  176 suffocating  mother, but instead a mother who is both  semiotic and  comforting: "[la mere] te touchant ... te pousse depuis son sein a venir au langage, qui lance ta force; c'est le rythme qui te rit ... Dans la femme il y a toujours plus ou moins de la mere qui repare et alimente, et resiste a la separation ..." (44).^ Urging resistance to the categories and classifications  of  psychoanalytic  discourse  which  inhibit  and  reduce  creativity, Cixous envisions a feminine writing that is not antiessentialist, does not minimize differentiation, exploring the interface  between  "same" and  and yet is "other,"  "bisexuelle,"  undoing the work  of death. This feminine writing exists in dynamic tension with "masculine writing," not fixed  in struggle and exclusion, but  "dynamises  k I'infini par un incessant echangement de I'un entre [sic] I'autre different"  (46).9  Two American limitations  sujet  inherent  theorists in an  essentialist/constructionist  recently  "either/or" debate.  have attempted construction  Diana  Fuss  of  to reconcile  the  the  questions  whether  essentialism has received a "bad rap," commenting that "few  other  words in the vocabulary of contemporary critical theory are so persistently maligned  ... so predictably summoned as a term of  infallible  critique."^ ° She argues that the "question we should be asking is not 'is this text essentialist (and therefore essentialist, and  what  motivates  constructionist  interrelated essentialism  its  arguments,  "bad)?' but rather, 'if this text is  deployment?'"(xi). she demonstrates  Examining  that  the two  rather than mutually exclusive. There is not but  many  culturally; conversely,  essentialisms, underlying  each  each  constructed  historical  essentialist are  one  historically  construct  of  and  difference  is some form of collective concept embodied in the construct's sign.  177 Irigaray's essentialism, argues Fuss, is a tool used in the search for a female imaginary, to be read within "a larger constructionist re-creating, re-metaphorizing  the body" (57). Although  Elaine Showalter believe that invoking the female  critics  project such as  body, even  metaphorically, "risks a return to the ... phallic and ovarian theories of art" (1982:17), or to "anatomy is destiny" traps. Fuss sees Irigaray's parler  femme  as an effort to establish a locus from which the "speaking  woman" can be heard. Margaret Whitford also sees at issue the construction of a female imaginary, in which woman is not silenced, the object of masculine desire  or  articulate  the  pre-verbal  the desire  tools of (Freudian) the defenses  of  mother.11 Instead, a female imaginary a  woman-as-speaking-subject.  Irigaray  psychoanalysis, according to Whitford,  of the Western cultural  to  would uses  the  "dismantle  unconscious," (masculine)  and  help  the female imaginary find a voice. Irigaray attempts to "theorize the conditions for a female  subject which could not be simply  incorporated  back into the male imaginary as its 'other' (the 'feminine' of the male philosophers)" (33). Irigaray's famous  "lips," described in "Quand nos  levres se parlent," are seen by Whitford and Fuss as a symbolization of a female imaginary articulated outside of a phallic economy based upon the exchange of women as objects. Feminists continue to debate the issues of essentialism, constructed "feminine"  gender roles, the appropriateness language. Is Irigaray's parler  and content  femme  merely  of  socially a  the underside  of  the patriarchal mirror, advocating the abrogation of logic and all the attributes of "male" discourse in the name of an essentialist  feminine  language which can only resemble the speech of a madwoman? Or if, as  178 Fuss and Whitford suggest, her use of essentialist tools is a deliberate, highly skilled use of psychoanalytic methods to subvert and expose the "phantasies that haunt philosophical necessary  to portray  implying, as Whitford  a woman's  discourse" (Whitford,  language  as irrational  34), is it incoherence,  describes it, a "regression to the pre-Oedipal  relation to the body of the mother" (38)? Irigaray claims that women need a metalanguage of their own in order  to begin  Whitford  thinking  and  speaking  writes, "woman-as-subject  woman-as-subject.  fluidity,  Irigaray,  in language and in the symbolic is  the condition of the coming-to-be of woman-as-subject (43). Arguing that Irigaray's parler  For  femme,  in the social"  with its emphasis on  multiplicity and contiguity, is less a descriptive program than a  psychological  strategy for bringing about change (a paradigm  shift),  Whitford claims, in the passage used as an epigraph for the introduction to this study, that: Irigaray thinks that the only way in which the status of women could be altered fundamentally is by the creation of a powerful female symbolic to represent the other term of sexual difference. What is at stake is the ethical, ontological, and social status of women. (22) Viewed as Whitford  suggests, the reading of women's writings for  glimpses of Irigaray's parler  femme  continues the work of exploring the  feminine unconscious for articulations of a female symbolic. Her contributes to the greater task of establishing for identifying  and interpreting  terms and a  the symbols of a feminine  project  framework construct  which would not be simply "the other" of the masculine imaginary but is, indeed, woman's own voice.  179 More important than the resolution of the essentialism constructionist  impasse, however,  is the recognition  vs.  that the  univocality  of "woman's voice" is a questionable premise. As women from  diverse  cultural, sociological and theoretical backgrounds gain access to voice, it seems increasingly multiplicity of  apparent  characterizes  multivocality,  that a "genealogy" of plurality  emerging  which  "women's  characterizes  voices."  contemporary  and  The  perspective  constructions  of  the  "crone" figure, especially in the United States, underlies the theoretical analysis of these last three Carol  Gilligan's  chapters.  "Different  Voice"  The question of women's voices and their relationship to normative  psychological  theories  of  male and  female  development  was  explored by Carol Gilligan in the early 1980's. In her study of the differences resolution between  in development between  women's  development,  men  of  and  experience  noted  identity, moral judgment, women,12 she and  throughout  elaboration of a feminine  the  the  describes  the  representation  psychological  and  of  conflict  "disparity human  literature"  (1-2).  Her  "ethics of care," based upon relationship and  connectedness, is an effort to identify a moral stance, detectable in women's those  discourse, which  privileged  is constructed  in male psychological  within the framework  of psychological  upon norms different discourse.  Although  discourse, Gilligan's  from  articulated "ethics of  care" suggests the possibility of a feminine discourse which values interconnectedness, and  relationship,  continuity,  and  the  avoidance  of  hurt  exploitation. Freud's description  separation from  of the child's development,  characterized  the mother and passage through the Oedipal  by  stage into  180 adulthood, was based upon the male child's experience. Female  children,  Gilligan observes, do not undergo such a radical separation from mother, but instead autonomy  remain connected even as they progress  into  — an image that recalls, in a Freudian framework,  "autonomous  connectedness,"  symbolized  by her body  the  Irigaray's  metaphor  of  "lips." Gilligan argues that from infanthood, the male and female difference  paths of development,  especially  separation  and connection is concerned.  where  the  follow  the articulation  of  Built upon separation from  mother, male development is told as a narrative of failed  the  relationships  with success measured by the degree of individuation. A preference abstract  systems of logic, hierarchical  assessed  through competitive ideals of perfection,  violence  characterize  development  Team games in which aggression establishing  boundaries,  and  of  order, a separated ego,  the  maintaining  self-worth  and images of  normative  is managed by  for  male  individual.  rule-setting,  separation,  enable  relatively  large groups of males to interact. In various research studies, men tended to perceive danger of entrapment,  betrayal, and deceit in  intimate situations of relationship and safety  in isolation.  Women  typically perceived danger in isolation, including the isolation of or achievement,  and  safety  in intimate relationships.  Gilligan  success  observed  that the norms of female development, with its continuance of relationships measured in Silencing  and  against  connection  to others,  male-validated  appear  psychological  the Self: Women and Depression  problematic norms.  Dana  when Jack  writes  that.  Regardless of theoretical perspective, observers find a female morality attuned to relationships and affection, and a male morality based on abstract principles expressed in laws and rules  181 ...While most theorists, including Piaget with Freud that a relationally oriented less 'independent of its emotional origins men,' the feminist critique has clarified evaluations. (90)  and Kohl berg, consider morality is less mature, as we require it to be in the bias of such  While men develop systems of justice based upon "rights," women tend to develop what Gilligan terms an "ethics of care," based upon a network of relationships. Assessment of self particular activities of care and responsibility judgment abstract  is contextual and  absolute.  ("it  worth is derived for others. Moral  depends upon the situation")  For  women,  through  adult development  rather  involves  than learning  to include oneself in the network of connection. Care for oneself means learning  to leave behind  self-sacrifice  and self-abnegation,  a concept  which some women find difficult to follow, since sacrifice is held to be the mark of a "good" person. In her research with a number of groups of women and men (including a longitudinal study of 29 women beginning at a time when they were considering abortion), Gilligan finds female  development:  goodness,  survival,  representing  three major periods in  with an emphasis on self survival;  a movement into responsibility  and care  for  others, which may also bring into conflict judgments about being "selfish" and "giving;" and finally an "ethics of care," encompassing  both  self and others in a perception of the interdependence of self and other. In the female fantasy of "caring," life is seen as a web in which connection, restored.  though  Women's  entailing  separateness, is still  development,  "change in configuration"  of  Gilligan  relationships  finds, (48)  maintained stresses  rather  or  continuity than  and  replacement  and separation. Nets and webs of relationship, for women, are perceived  182 as  safe  rather  moral judgments  than  entrapping.  revolve  around  Throughout  their  the avoidance  development,  women's  of hurt and exploitation  (an imbalance or inequality between care for self and care for others), and a search for nonviolent solutions to conflict. Gilligan found that as female adolescents move into the level of responsibility  and care for others, they may experience silencing,  either  from concern about hurting others or from a fear of not being heard. Gilligan compares the disappearance of the female self in adolescence to the Persephone myth (51). We can also see the adolescent stage of suppression reflected from  in "Little Red Riding Hood," interpreting the tale  Gilligan's perspective of female responsibility for care. Just as  Little Red Riding Hood begins to inherit the duties of caring for others from her mother, she is "silenced" by the wolf, who consumes her selfhood.  Her moments of attempted  "care for self," represented by her  solitary play in the forest (which her mother has forbidden) undoing.  Besides warning against wolfish  message  prepares little  girls  lead to her  seducers, the tale's  for the self-abnegation  of  covert  institutionalized  motherhood. Silencing  the "mother,"  or women in the responsible  care-taker  phase of development, is connected with the exploitation of inequality through  self-sacrifice  and self-abnegation.  In this phase, the balance  between care for self and for others is upset. The Mother's "fault" is that she is endlessly giving even though she hurts herself in so doing. For Winnicott's "good-enough" mother, it can be difficult,  given the values of  this stage, to know what is "enough."^^ But conflict between "rights" (which carry a judgment of "selfishness") can result in self-abnegation)  and "responsibility"  (which  continues to be a dilemma for women of  183 all ages. Gilligan's interviews with women college students in the 1970's, revealed the "enormous power of the judgment of selfishness in women's  thought"  (132).  For the "crone," the postmenopausal  woman in mid-life, the  quality of her life and her problems involve both her ability to care for self and her connection to life through people, according to Gilligan. The feminine  dilemma,  to be both separate and connected,  reasserts  itself  during this time of transition, and it is often marked initially by feelings of loss of youth and reproductive creativity, or changes in family relationships, as children move into their own adulthood. patterns  of connectedness  may dissolve,  requiring  Familiar  new negotiations of  "self" and other. Mid-life brings issues of separation and dissolution of relationships. "If mid-life brings an end to relationships, to the sense of connection on which she relies, as well as to the activities of care through which she judges her worth," writes Gilligan, "then the mourning that accompanies all life transitions can give way to the melancholia  of self-deprecation  and despair"  (171). The opportunity  for  the exercise of voice, perhaps truly for the first time, may initially lead to the discovery, in the words of Janice Joplin, that "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose." However, when women assume the right to pursue their own interests and abilities, mid-life and beyond can provide a chance for the exercise of an "ethics of care" combining the language of "rights," including the self, with the language of  "responsibility,"  which dissolves hierarchical  image of relationships  ordering into a web-like  based on equality and reciprocity.  Gilligan's description of a feminine ethics of care, based upon an autonomous  connectedness,  upon  relationships  rather  than  separation.  184 has affinities  with Irigaray's  "lips," separate yet connected,  always  touching each other, and with her mechanics of fluids, flowing and viscous rather than solid, whose movement and shape is always a factor of both internal and external forces. Like Irigaray, Gilligan listens for the voices of women, the separate nuances and meanings  encoded  within the common language. Women, she finds, are not only  silenced,  but it is difficult to hear what they say even when they speak: As we have listened for centuries to the voices of men and the theories of development that their experience informs, so we have come more recently to notice not only the silence of women but the difficulty in hearing what they say when they speak. Yet in the different voice of women lies the truth of an ethic of care, the tie between relationship and responsibility, and the origins of aggression in the failure of connection. (173) Women's voices are among Michel Foucault's unheard voices, the faint  scratchings, wisps and fragments  his palimpsest of Foucault  and  French  of  narrative  which appear  upon  "genealogy."  the  Philosophies  philosopher  of  and physician  Emergence Michel  and  Difference  Foucault  articulated  his  theories of "archeology" and "genealogy" in the late 1960's and early 1970's, against a background European  intellectual  of deep disillusionment  within  the  tradition.^ "^ While a thorough discussion of  Foucault's thought is beyond the scope of this work, his notion of "genealogy,"  which  examines  the  interrelationship  of  truth/knowledge,  power, and the subject, questioning the notion of an a priori essence" or "nature," is useful French intellectual "truth" or formation  "human  in discussing multivocality from  the  perspective. Foucault links the power to create  "knowledge" to discourse  (including myths) and  to social practices, such as the development of  discursive institutions.  185 moral codes, and economic and political relationships. He uses the term "archeology" to describe the project of uncovering des  evenements  discursive (Mahon  discursifs"  description  pure  (Foucault 1969: 39-40), or a history of the  events which establish  114). Although  "une  the  "practical  Foucault's discussion  conditions  of  of  existence"  the discursive  formation  of the concepts of "mental illness" and the medicalization of the bodyi ^ is relevant and  the  to this century's conceptualization  frequency  of  middle-aged  women's  of menopause as confinement  in  disease  mental  i n s t i t u t i o n s , ! 6 (as well as to greatly reduced childbirth mortality rates), I want to focus here on "genealogy's" notions of "difference" "emergence"  and  Influenced through  Nietzsche  their  relevance  to women's  discourse.  by a tradition of anti-Platonism, (Mahon ix), Foucault's  expressed in L'Archeologie  du  savoir  and  extending from  interpretation  of  Hegel  "genealogy,"  (1969) and his essay "Nietzsche, la  genealogie, I'histoire" (1971), rejects the tendency to reduce all phenomena and thought to the "same," disregarding that which does not conform. He suggests a different view of events, one which does not perceive  history  {histoire  Instead, he proposes patiemment  globule)  "genealogie,"  documentaire."  as the logical, lofty search for "truth." which is "grise, meticuleuse et  (1971:145).  Genealogy  (histoire  generale),  he claims, ... travaille sur des parchemins embrouilles, grattes, plusieurs fois recrits ... De la, pour la genealogie, une indispensable retenue: rep^rer la singularity des evenements, hors de toute finalite monotone; les guetter la ou on les attend le moins et dans ce qui passe pour n'avoir point d'histoire — les sentiments, I'amour, la conscience, les instincts; saisir leur retour, non point pour tracer la courbe lente d'une evolution, mais pour retrouver les differentes scenes ou iis ont joue des roles differents ... ." (145)^'''  186 Whereas history depicts a logical progression of events and the "inevitable progress of the will to truth,"  "genealogy" uncovers the  "inequity of forces" which forms the substratum for the emergence of values and institutions  (Bouchard, ed. 22). Rather than viewing  as the repetition of forms and principles connected linearly similarity  or cause-and-effect,  genealogy  holds  that events  history  through are  singular  and discrete. The concept of genealogy presents, then, an opportunity to interfere with the agglutination of "same" into "truth," to interpose the voices of "the other," excluded because they were not "the same," so that they, too, may be heard speaking their relative truths. In genealogy's opposition to the accumulation of "same" moments, it stands in opposition to the processes of logical, analytical thought, which seeks to find "origins" by tracing things back to their source or resolving knowledge into its original principles, which become  "truth."  Logical thought prefers to identify and find meaning in those things which appear to be the "same"; it seeks to find permanent truths, while Foucault called for a "philosophy of difference." accumulation over time of "same," rarefied rejects  the notion of  transcendental,  In rejecting the  into "truth," Foucault also  universal, essential  or  absolute  "truth." While history creates a linear, univocal version of Truth, genealogy  reveals a palimpsest  with many  versions of  stories  scratched  over each other. Thus what is called "truth," whether moral or religious, is always relative and contextually developed; there is no transcendental objects)  "origin,"  either  supernatural  or collective.  Subjects  (and  are contextually constructed; there is no essential being. The  imperatives of history have been deconstructed  and shown to be the  result of human interaction (mostly personal conflict)  over time. Like  187 French and American women theorists, Foucault, then, seeks to break those patterns which work against life and health, especially encoded  in discourse and the authority of  those  institutions.  In his discussion of Nietzsche's rejection of the pursuit of origins (Ursprung),  or an original unifying basis which gives rise to a diversity  of phenomena or thought, Foucault rejects the search for "ideal forms," for metaphysical  truths which humans seek to imitate, or for dictates of  an "essential" human nature (a rejection that would include an "essential feminine"). At the root of every ideal are various human emotions: passion, conflict, power, greed. Each is born out of a particular context. He concludes that "ce qu'on trouve, au  commencement  historique des choses, ce n'est pas I'identite encore preservee de leur origine, — c'est la discorde des autres choses, c'est le disparate" ( 1 9 7 1 : 1 4 8 ) . 1 8 In other words, creation — the beginning of things — arises not from reduction to the "same," but from disparity, or difference.  Through  the meticulous study of what has been  omitted,  neglected, or devalued, as well as the false starts, scratchings, and discontinuities, we arrive at a clearer picture of the functions of history, "truth" and "ideals"— what they have served to conceal, what discontinuities  and  disjunctures  they  erase.  He understands history, not as "successive configurations identical disguised  mean," but rather as a result of conquests  and  systematic  "substitutions,  reversals"  (Bouchard,  of an  displacements, ed.  151).  Chance, a "profusion of entangled events" (155) or the "scene where forces are risked in the chance of confrontations" (159), is the operative force, rather than order, plan and design. History is dynamically political; it is not the "slow, repetitious exposure of meaning hidden in  188 an origin" (151). The ideas, beliefs, "facts," and events of history have resulted from  the dominance or appropriation of a certain system of  rules by a more powerful  group usually accompanied by the  subordination of others, in a process which Foucault terms  "emergence."  The voice of history is a mask, concealing "the violent or surreptitious appropriation of a system of rules, which itself has no essential meaning (italics mine) in order to impose a direction, to bend it to a new will, to force its participation in a different game, and to subject it to secondary rules ...". (151-52)19 Foucault's  re-characterization  of the qualities  of  history, or genealogy, lends itself to the expression of  "effective" "difference,"  because it focuses upon that which has tended to be excluded or devalued in traditional historical discourse. He describes his view of history using images drawn from  the body and from  medicine.  Historical study is analogous to medicine in that it should serve to diagnose,  identify  poisons  and  antidotes, and  aid recuperation  rather  than support philosophical discourse. Its purpose is to "trouver le meilleur  antidote"  (1969:157).  In his attempts to destabilize the legacy of the univocal  subject,  Foucault discards  ideals, imperatives,  Enlightenment's unities,  and  certainties, but, in a certain sense, retains an emphasis upon the individual:  a late twentieth-century  underground,  ironic  individual.  In  vision  of  surveying  the  decentered,  the exhaustion  decadence of Europe, Foucault's call for a "philosophy of opens the door for the voice of "I'Autre," Certainly  some aspects of  and  difference"  including women's voice.  genealogical  methodology  lend  themselves to a study of women's voices in writing: attention to  189 singularity of events; particularities of place and time; and to that which is expressed important,  through sentiments, love, conscience  and instincts.  the decentering of the univocal voice of history  Most  permits  other voices, other stories to be heard and allows for relative, rather than  absolute  "truths."2 o No longer is there one subject, one voice, one  "truth," but many subjects, many voices, each with their own truths. In the next chapter, the "Grandmother's 'Oui'" of the title indicates the generally  affirming  stance  of  these  contemporary  theorists  who  have  attempted to create a "space" for the voices of "others," excluded and silenced by the "'Non' of the Father."  190 NOTES ^ "Des Histoires." Piaf/Chansons, Records. ^Carolyn Women's  recorded by Edith Piaf in Paris for Capital  Greenstein-Burke. "Report from Paris: Movement," Signs, Summer, 1978.  Women's  Writing  and  the  ^Translated by Catherine Porter as: " ... continuous, compressible, dilatable, viscous, conductible, diffusible" — while the masculine imaginary of Western prefers solids — "property, production, order, form, unity, visibility ... .erection." This Sex Which Is Not One (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1985) 86. ^Translated by Catherine Porter as: "This 'style' or 'writing' of women tends to put the torch to fetish words, proper terms, well-constructed terms. This 'style' does not privilege sight, instead, it takes each figure back to its source, which is among other things tactile ... Simultaneity is its 'proper' aspect ... It is always fluid ... those rubbings between two infinitely near neighbors that create a dynamics ... Its "style" resists and explodes every firmly established form, figure, idea or concept. Which does not mean that it lacks style, as we might be led to believe by a discursivity that cannot conceive of it. But its "style" cannot be upheld as a thesis, cannot be the object of a position. Even the motifs of 'self-touching,' of utterances, could effectively pass for discourse" (79).  "proximity," isolated as such or reduced an attempt to appropriate the feminine  to to  ^Imitating in an exaggerated way the role assigned to the feminine in patriarchal discourse which posits the masculine as speaking subject (the "F who articulates his desires). The woman deliberately assumes the feminine styles and posture assigned to her within this discourse in order to uncover the mechanisms by which it exploits her (Irigaray, translated by Porter 220). ^Translated by Annette painting, writing: their  Kuhn as: "Women's imaginary is inexhaustible, like stream of phantasms is incredible" (Signs, 246).  music,  ^Translated by Annette Kuhn as: "Writing is for you, you are for you, your body is yours, take it" (Signs, 246). ^Translated by Annette Kuhn as: "It is the mother who touches you ... fills your breast with an urge to come to language and launches your forces; the rhythm that laughs you ... In women there is always more or less of the mother who makes everything all right, who nourishes, and who stands up against separation" (Signs, 252). ^Translated by Annette Kuhn as: "... but infinitely dynamized by an process of exchange from one subject to another" (Signs, 254) ^ ^ n Essentially  Speaking:  Feminism,  Nature  and  Difference  (1989).  incessant  191  ^ ^In Luce  Harvard  Irigaray:  Philosophy  in  Different Voice: Psychological University Press, 1982).  the  Feminine Theory  and  (1991). Women's  Development  (Boston:  1 ^The American feminist Elizabeth Cady Stanton once told a reporter to "put it down in capital letters: SELF-DEVELOPMENT IS A fflGHER DUTY THAN SELFSACRIFICE. The thing which most retards and militates against women's selfdevelopment is self-sacrifice" (quoted in Gilligan 109). ^^Developments within European philosophical discussion in the second half of the twentieth century have, ironically, opened the way for alternative voices to be heard, at the very moment when a vast unity of the sciences and humanities through interlocking underlying structural principles was envisioned. The disintegration of European empires, the devastation of massive wars, the collapse of German idealism into the genocide of the Third Reich have engendered, at least in intellectual circles, a profound distrust of "origins," of all-encompassing principles and the mesmerizing mirage of "divine truths," "absolute principles," and "moral imperatives" cleverly constructed to favor the lives and economic prosperity of some groups over others. Nietzsche's much celebrated "death of God" has contributed to the decline of an exclusively patriarchal monopoly on discourse, philosophic or otherwise. At the same time, developments within science, especially those within quantum mechanics, high-energy particle physics, and the Einsteinian theories of relativity (one might say that physics has become the theology of the twentieth century) have overturned accepted beliefs about the relationship between the observer and the observed (subject and object). Concepts such as wave/particle duality, frame-of-reference, relative truths, the uncertainty principle, chaos theory and the behavior of subatomic particles have destabilized our empirical basis for establishing truth and certainty and shown the intricate, tangled complexity and unpredictability of matter. ^ %ound in Folic et deraison: Histoire de la folic a I'dge classique. (Paris: Plon, 1961); Maladie mentale et psychologic. (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1962), and Naissance de la clinique: Une archeologie du regard medical. ( P a r i s : Presses Universitaires de France, 1963). From his study of the asylum in the early 1960's, Foucault observed the interplay of "genealogy's" three axes: knowledge, power and subject. "The modern individual, the object of psychology, appeared as a function of the knowledge and power relations in which it became entwined. Power operated in spatial and temporal transformations that constituted the modern individual as the object of psychiatric knowledge" (Mahon 125). ^ ^ h i s culminated in the nervous breakdowns, electric shock treatments and hysterectomies of the 1950's as discussed in chapter 5 and at greater length by Lois Banner. 1 ^Donald F. Bouchard translates this passage as: "... operates on a field of entangled and confused parchments, on documents that have been scratched over and recopied many times ... it must record the singularity of events outside of any  192 monotonous finality; it must seek them in the most unpromising places, in what we tend to feel is without history — in sentiments, love, conscience, instincts; it must be sensitive to their recurrence, not in order to trace the gradual curve of their evolution, but to isolate the different scenes where they engaged in different roles." Language, Counter-Memory, Practice, ed. by Donald F. Bouchard, trans, by Donald F. Bouchard and Sherry Simon. (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1977) 139-140. ^ "Bouchard translates this as: "What is found at the historical beginning of things, is not the inviolable identity of their origin; it is the dissension of other things. It is disparity" (1977:142). ^ 9 Foucault's texts reads: "Les differentes emergences qu'on peut reperer ne sont pas les figures successives d'une meme signification; ce sont autant d'effets de substitutions, de remplacements et de deplacements, de conquetes deguisees, de retournements systematiques. Si interpreter, c'etait mettre lentement en lumidre une signification enfouie dans I'origine seule la metaphysique pourrait interpreter le devenir de I'humanite. Mais si interpreter, c'est s'emparer, par violence ou subreption, d'un systeme de regies qui n'a pas en soi de signification essentielle, et lui imposer une direction, le ployer a une volunte nouvelle, le faire entrer dans un autre jeu et le soumettre a des regies secondes, alors le devenir de I'humanite est une serie d'interpretations" (1971:158). 2 ^ At the same time, this open door appears rather as a by-product of Foucault's focus upon a consideration of the present-day appropriate stance of the traditional male philosopher-historian vis-a-vis power, truth, ideals, knowledge and the individual subject.  193 CHAPTER 7 The Grandmother's "Oui": An Emerging a D i s c o u r s e of M u l t i p l i c i t y  Voice  in  There is an Old Woman who lives in a hidden place that everyone knows but few have ever seen. As in the fairy tales of Eastern Europe, she seems to wait for lost or wandering people and seekers to come to her place. She is circumspect, often hairy, always fat, and especially wishes to evade most company. She is both a crower and a cackler, generally having more animal sounds than human ones ... She is called by many names: La Huesera, Bone Woman; La Trapera. The Gatherer; and La Loba, Wolf Woman. The symbol of the Old Woman is one of the most widespread archetypal personifications in the world. Others are the Great Mother and Father, the Divine Child, the Trickster, and Sorceress(er), the Maiden and Youth, the Heroine-Warrior, and the Fool(ess). Yet, La Loba is vastly different in essence and effect, for she is the feeder root to an entire instinctual system. Clarissa Women  The  Crone in an Emerging  Pinkola Estes WAo Run With  Symbolic  Wolves  Discourse  In the previous chapters, I have discussed portrayals of old or post-menopausal  women  from  the  matriarchal  and  patriarchal  perspectives as well as from the vantage point of those modern women writers who have  abandoned  the traditional  patterns  of  women's  culture to reclaim forbidden territory for themselves and others. As I stressed  in the first  chapter,  women's interpretations  of  archetypal  material as well as their conceptions about social norms and role possibilities, vary according to the societies, regions and times in which they were formed.  In this century,  many women authors have used  writing as a rebellious act to separate themselves from the  conventions  of institutionalized femininity or as a tool for self-formation.  In so  doing, they have utilized the figure of the old woman/grandmother  not  only to articulate and critique the patterns and values of women's lives but also, it seems to me, to explore the consequences of life choices. As Susan K. Harris comments, "there exists ... a community of expression  194 and interpretation  actively  involved  in  examining  women's  nature  possibilities — a women's community in continuous discourse  and  about  itself. Within this context, women's novels function as a means of testing women's possibilities for alternative modes of being ...  " (1990:19).  If old age is the culmination of the way one has led one's life, then many of today's women writers are in the process of examining and extending the range of women's possible life choices and reflecting the gains and losses, the fulfillment choice.  upon  and regrets attendant upon each  The figure of the old woman offers a fictional opportunity for  these reflections as well as an avenue for exploring a powerful,  archaic  feminine mythological image — subject matter which has also increasingly found its way into the popular culture of cinema and journalism. The project that women writers of this century have been engaged in is one of emergence, the the chance of confrontations,"  "scene where forces are risked in  as Foucault describes the process of  genealogical history (159). Foucault's concept (discussed in the  previous  chapter) holds that a group's ideas, beliefs, cultural patterns and even its perception of "facts" are a result of the dominance or appropriation of a certain system of rules, espoused by a more powerful group and usually accompanied frequently  by the subordination  of  others.  Women  writers  have used their work to explore and expose the system of  rules by which their lives have been bounded. Although completely  at times women writers themselves  have partly  endorsed patriarchal models and ideals for female  nevertheless, women's battle for access to  or roles,  "the Word" has represented  the emergence of the feminine voice. As I have suggested earlier,  Lacan  195 well knew the transcendental  shaping,  rule-making power of  "word"  when he made his bid to appropriate the entire realm of the symbolic order under the phallic "Law of the Father," repeating the silencing of women's voice by restating its Freudian confinement babble of the maternal The successful  to the  pre-verbal  imaginary.  struggles of American female writers and poets  such as Dickinson, Gather, Porter, Wharton, Teasdale, Wylie, Millay, Amy Lowell, Moore, Plath, Sarton, Sexton, Mansfield, Welty, and others to gain critical acceptance of their work as "literature" rather than "women's writing" — at no small cost to their lives, to which the suicide rate attests — has precipitated an "emergence," a bending of the will and shaping of new rules, that has given women access to "voice" and "the word." The "emergence" of women's voice in the United States in the late nineteenth  and twentieth centuries,  which I have examined in light  of Foucault's genealogical history, owes a great deal to a connection between the "enabling power of political activism and the production of art," according to scholars such as Ammons, Showalter and Banner (Ammons, vii) This "emergence" has been given extra impetus by the numbers of women scholars, critics, and artists who have contributed the growing  corpus of work exploring women's participation in  to  culture  and the articulation of what I am hypothesizing as an alternative feminine  symbolic  order.  French women writers and intellectuals have been less obliged to struggle for critical acceptance and male audience. The tradition of feminine intellectual  and artistic influence  in France extends back more  than eight centuries to Alienor of Aquitaine and includes Ghristine de Pisan, Marguerite de Navarre,  les  ptecieuses,  Georges Sand, Mme de  196 Stael, Colette, Simone de Beauvoir and dozens more. For de Beauvoir, Irigaray, and Cixous, as for their forebears, the conundrum of women's lives has revolved around acceptance,  accommodation or rejection of the  myth of the "eternal feminine" or "1'Autre"  personified by Michele  Sarde as "la Fran^aise." Eve and mother, seductive, mysterious, nurturing and child-like,  "Elle porte ... son profil de madone qu'entraine  ... une longue chevelure de sirene" (Sarde 11). Both goddess and creature, the patterned image of "la Fran^aise" (exemplified prototypical  "Fran^aise," film  star Catherine  blessing and bane, conferring  divergences between the myth  roles and lives.  Deneuve^) has been both  enviable privileges and exacting a price  which de Beauvoir detailed in Le Deuxieme painful  by the  Contemporary  upon "abstract" problems of an  Sexe, by examining the  and reality of French  French women intellectuals "ecriture  discourse, exploration and valorization  feminine"  women's  have  focused  or feminine  of the body, and  feminine  jouissance  French women have tended to accentuate and valorize the  "otherness"  {"difference")  minimized  oi femininity,  these differences  while Americans have  to win equal rights and acceptance.  HoTfi?ever, in France, women such as Edith Badinter, in L'un  est  I'autre.  and Michele Sarde are calling for the end of "otherness," suggesting that the time of " difference already dead,  is over. The patriarchal system is dying or  Badinter claims. Technology has anuUed many of the  advantages of physical strength to males, control  and women have gained  over their reproductive processes, prompting  a merging  of  sexual identities and a realignment of roles. She contends that men and women now share a kind of psychological bisexuality that in itself quenches  passionate  desire,  which feeds  on  complementarity  and  197 longing for the forbidden,  unattainable object  (204).  Today's  "multiplicity" calls for a shift from passion to tenderness, from desire for possession  and submission to affectionate  the model of companionate friendship she sees a movement from  relationships  upon  (207). In social roles and images  complementarity  democratic model, which includes liberte,  to an  egalite,  egalitarian, and frateraite  genders. By invoking the values of the French Revolution, Badinter points out was  based  for both  which  'the most decisive of all revolutions in the  Western world" (116), she not only brings male and female into a closer rapport and alignment, but she also brings the French and American women (who are products of a great "New World" experiment with these  same  democratic values) perhaps into  The S o c i o l o g i c a l  a closer  Case for the Emerging  understanding.  Crone  The emergence of the Crone gains further impetus from  current  demographic data. The number and proportion of persons over S5 in the United States and France has been steadily increasing since 1900. The number of people 75 years and older has been increasing at a faster rate than the population between the ages of 65 to 74, and the number of people 85 and older has grown even more quickly. By 2000, the population of the 75 to 84 group in the United States will increase by 57 percent, and the 85 and older group will double in size.^^ In France, in 1991, men and women over (^5 comprised slightly more than nine percent of the total population. The proportion of older men and women in the elderly population has changed  equally as dramatically  since  1930, when the  composition  was nearly half and half, as it had been since the turn of the century. Beth Hess reports in Growing Old in America that while gains in life  198 expectancy are recorded for both sexes, from  1930 on those for women  have been greater (19). In 1970, in the United States there were 72.1 males for every 100 females aged 65 or over (19). By 1991, in the over65 cohort, there were 67 males for every 100 females in the United States and 65 males for every 100 females in France. ^ To interpret these statistics in another way, even though both men and women  statistically have substantially longer life  expectancies  than three generations ago, the numbers of women over 65 continue to outstrip the numbers of men of that age by an increasing margin. In 1900, in the United States, a white male had an average life expectancy at birth of 48.2 years and a female 51.1, only a three-year  differential.  By 1969, the comparable figures were 67.0 and 75.1, a full seven years (19). In 1980, the average life expectancy in the United States was 71.6 years for males and 76.3 years for females; in France, it was 70.2 years for males and 78.5 for females."* While the gap has narrowed significantly in the United States to 4.7 years, French women live an average of eight years longer than males. What this means is that elderly people will in all probability make up an increasingly large segment of both populations, and a majority of them will be women. In sociological terms, a new life-stage is emerging, a period of joint survival for the married pair or of extended singleness for widows or divorced women, which was not a common experience for members of preceding generations.  New social and  psychological  problems are appearing,  involving integration  longer life into society,  societal determination of appropriate norms and  behaviors,  and  development  of  supportive  of the expectation of  social structures for  the  elderly (Hess, 20). One can expect these sociological realities to be  199 reflected in  literature, which may be assumed increasingly to address  questions related to these issues. Since a majority of these elderly will be women, many of whom will be single persons, and since women writers  traditionally  have  addressed  problems  of  women's  "everyday  living," it is not surprising to find a growing body of literature, films and articles pertaining to elderly women and therefore related to the Crone. Patricia Aburdene predicts in  Megatrends  for  Women that,  As mature writers and artists validate their own journey ... this rite de passage will be increasingly celebrated in film, literature and the arts. (260) Indeed, the popular film culture of the past few years has reflected  this  trend with a number of productions focusing on an elderly woman (or older women) as a major character: Fried  Green  Driving  CJub {\99Z),  Miss Daisy {\9^9),  of Strangers,  The  Cemetery  Vieiile qui marchait  The  Couderc  dans ia jiz?ar (1991),  Company  Tatie Danielle (1991),  La  La Mai son, Le Chat and La  Crone  For aging female and  and The  (1971) illustrate a similar phenomenon in France.  Grass-Roots  health  (1991),  produced in 1990 for television by the Canadian National  Film Board, are North American examples.  Veuve  Tomatoes  activity,  "baby-boomers," who have valorized  Margaret Mead's  "zestful"  energetic,  fitness,  independent  postmenopausal life-style will, no doubt, be the ideal for which to strive. At the same time, the major issue for the elderly is the "continuum of loss." As Biegel, Shore and Gordon conclude in Support  Networks  for  the  Elderly  "... over time aging persons begin to  experience substantial losses in body functioning, mental functioning,  Building  sensory  family and peer group support, income,  functioning, self-image,  200 self-esteem,  control and power" (19). In  Growiag  Old in America,  Beth  Hess writes that in our culture, which esteems mastery and control, we shrink from  signs of physical deterioration in ourselves and avoid those  "who already carry such stigmata.  ... Our attitudes toward the old are  thus compounded of fear and anxiety" in a culture that emphasizes  "the  here and now" (20). It was with a similar keen apprehension of the losses of aging that Simone de Beau voir commented in La  VieiJiesse  Ceux qui echappent a la misere et a la gene ont a menager un corps qui est devenu fragile, fatigable, souvent infirme ou perclus de douleurs. Les plaisirs immediats leur sont interdits ou avarement mesures: I'amour, la table, I'alcool, le tabac, le sport, la marche. (473) ... I'immense majorite des hommes [men and women] accueillent la vieillesse dans la tristesse ou la revoke. Elle inspire plus de repugnance que la mort meme. (565) By the time La  VieiJiesse was published in 1970, de Beauvoir had  become somewhat more optimistic about aging. While she continued to detail the ravages and discomforts of old age, she was able to conclude that "La vieillesse n'est pas une conclusion necessaire de i'existence humaine" (565). She discovered that the group of six hundred or so then-living  French  centenarians,  mostly  Breton women,  experienced  a  good deal of satisfaction and humor in living, finding they possess "un caractere independant, egal et meme gai, un vif sens de 1'humor et le gout des relations sociales" (573). With the reasonable expectation of at least two or three decades of active living beyond the child-raising,  career-building  numbers of women in the United States now hold on or about their fiftieth birthday. In a pamphlet,  years,  growing  "croning celebrations" "The Croning  201 Celebration"^,  Jacquelyn Gentry and Faye Seifert describe this  celebration as a "public ritual — a 'rite of passage' ... a public pronouncement of reclaiming the revered status of the crone in society" (6). From Bethesda, Maryland, to Kansas City, to Seattle, organizations like "Crone" are springing up. Seattle's "Crone" was founded in 1987 to "combat ageism; foster  connections  between  older women;  and  restore  the idea of the 'crone' to its ancient and rightful meaning as a respected, wise and experienced elder. And, given the traditional life stages of a woman — maiden, mother and crone — to cherish the last as potentially the most fulfilling.'^ perhaps, vestiges  In these celebrations and groups can be seen,  of the "consciousness-raising"  grass-roots meetings that fueled  groups of the  the explosion of interest in  1970's, women's  issues, history, and political activism of that decade.^ The increasing number of older women who are experiencing the "invisibility" of older women in American society, the desire to develop strong  support  networks for women of the white middle class who do not have extended families that revere the older woman,  and the need to discuss  and plan for growth, loss, possible disability and death, with women of similar needs and backgrounds, fuels  the proliferation  of these  organizations.^ Contemporary  Cinematic  Crones  Several examples of recent films (mentioned  above) depicting the  Crone or problems of advancing age in both the United States and France indicate the popular interest in this topic. While all the films discussed in this section focus on various aspects of aging. La marchait  dans la jz?arand Tatie  Fried Green  Vieilte  Danielle among the French films and  Tomatoes among the American ones best depict the  qui  202 mysterious, enigmatic qualities of the powerful described  by Estes and  Crone, so provocatively  Walker.  In France, two films, released in the 1970's, based on novels by Georges Simenon, already exemplified  the voices of  Foucault's  genealogical "Other." In both, Simone Signoret plays an older woman who essentially falls into the "old woman-as-victim" Crone  archetype.  marginalized,  Unempowered  even by motherhood,  category of the these woman  are  silenced and die. They are not the subjects of their own  lives, but rather are victims of others' enmity, greed or neglect. The plot of La  Veuve Couderc revolves  around  the  attachment  between  an  older  widow and a young fugitive, who helps her work her small farm in exchange for shelter. The widow has been raped as a young by her father-in-law  servant-girl  and his son; she marries the drunkard son, who  dies. The doltish father-in-law  continues to own the farm and to live  with her. She works hard to keep the farm going, but she is an outcast among the villagers, unwanted by her in-laws, and has no future.  Her  brother- and sister-in-law scheme to sell the farm to get money for themselves.  The barges and pleasure boats plying the canal which  separates the farm from her in-laws' house are artifacts from a world blue-collar industry and bourgeois life that she can never hope to access. The canal drawbridge, controlled by the in-laws who are the bridge-keepers,  emphasizes the tenuousness  with  which the  widow  is  connected to family and the village. Despite all these obstacles, she is portrayed as strong and determined to make a life for herself. for companionship and affection,  she enters into a sexual  with Jean, the young doctor-turned-fugitive,  Starved  relationship  who is also sleeping with  the in-laws' daughter, an unwed teen-age mother.  "Eile est jeune," the  ot  203 widow  says bitterly when she discovers the betrayal.  Betrayal  continues  as the in-laws notify "the authorities" that the widow is sheltering the fugitive.  "Authority" in the form of police, army, and retired military  cavalry officers  descend upon the little farmhouse, in which the widow  and Jean support each other and prepare to fight.  After a massive  manhunt, Jean and the widow are shot in a gun-battle, and the in-laws presumably get what remains of the farm.  Both the widow Couderc and  Jean represent the voices of "the oppressed Other" — those who are ignored,  dispossessed,  institutionalized  and silenced by the "Establishment,"  or  authority.  In Le CAM, Signoret plays the part of Clemence, an aging wife whose marriage has turned to hatred.  Isolated,  dependent,  and  alcoholic, she is starved for affection or a kind word. Her husband, Julien, lavishes all his affection and attention upon a cat, which Clemence finally kills out of jealousy. Instead of a dignified burial, the cat's body is taken off by the trash collectors in the garbage, a symbolic indication of the couple's own state of mind. This film focuses upon the losses and depression of old age. The couple's marriage, which might have been a comfort,  becomes an abusive torture for both.  Withholding  affection and refusing to speak to his wife become Julien's weapons against his own melancholia.  Clemence, once a beautiful young acrobat  and a star performer adored by the crowds, has retired after injurious  fall,  becoming  more  and more house-bound  and  an  dependent  upon her husband. In her older years, she is rejected by him, and they both become emotionally abusive. The loss of love and relationship, however, appears at first to be more devastating for her. She vacillates between  anger and despairing loneliness, while Julien consoles  himself  204 with his mistress. Death comes suddenly to Clemence — as it did to the cat. When she suffers a heart attack, there are no good-byes, no chances for reconciliation. Julien, who could not live with her, also cannot live without her. Ingesting a handful of sleeping pills, he dies also. In both these films, the women, who possess strength,  determination,  and qualities which should have led them to success, are victimized by societal them  institutions  as disposable  (marriage,  property,  social  structures)  which  treat  cast-offs.  The unforgettable aging aunt in Crone-like con-artist in  La  Tatie  Danielle, and Lady M., the  Vieille qui marcAait  dans la met, are cut of  entirely different cloth. Both powerful women, they belong to the "Hag" category of the Crone archetype, sometimes on the side of death, sometimes on the side of life, always in control. In both comedies, the French  commentary upon the aging female body and the  connection to the classical mythological dark  humor  and  In Tatie  Crone-witch  cultural  archetype lend a  perspective.  Danielle^ elderly Auntie Danielle Billard (Tsilla Chelton)  cleverly manipulates  the  symptomology of aging to  methodically  torment and dominate those around her. Claiming to be a "lonely old woman at a madwoman's mercy," she takes malicious glee in tyrannizing her  equally  aged,  dotty housekeeper,  trampling  her flowers,  demanding  to be waited on hand and foot, and luring the poor thing to her ignominious fatal fall while cleaning a chandelier. Odile, is the self-sacrificing, flowers,  The housekeeper,  "good-enough," old woman who plants  enjoys her web of relationships with neighbors, and cannot hold  her own against her mistress.  205 Tatie Danielle goes to live with her grand-nephew, his wife and two boys, pretending to be "just an old woman whom nobody wants," while tormenting them with her selfish demands. She refuses to be the sugar-coated,  "cipher"  "grannie" for whom they had hoped. The French  horror of the incontinent  aging (feminine)  body,  so memorably  by Simone de Beauvoir in her famous passage from adieux  evoked  Ceremonies  des  in which she describes the wet stain left upon a chair by an  aging Jean-Paul Sartre, is parodied by Tatie Danielle, when she surreptitiously pours a cup of tea on the seat of her armchair to simulate incontinence,  embarrassing  her relatives  at their  dinner  party.  Her "incontinence" also signifies her refusal to be bounded by the bourgeois  code  of feminine  Jean-Pierre's wife,  agreeableness,^ modeled to perfection by  Catherine. Angry at being abandoned by her  "sitter,"  Sandrine, hired to care for "auntie" while the family takes a much-need vacation in Greece,  Danielle throws a mad-woman's tantrum,  destroying  the apartment and setting it ablaze. Immediately she is the delighted center of a storm of media attention, headlined as the abandoned,  dear  old lady, while her family is vilified for their "neglect." Her removal to a nursing home, where the old are "warehoused" to await death,  plunges  her into the angry depression of an unwanted old woman. However, she reconfirms her membership in the "hag" clan, associated with the Crone goddess and the life-death-life escape from  closely  cycle, in her  the nursing home and rejuvenation through her  association  with the young woman, Sandrine. In the closing scenes, Tatie Danielle transforms from  a mechante  "hag" to a sprightly fairy godmother, as  Sandrine helps her escape from the nursing home, and together they travel to the Alps. Renewed through her life-giving relationship with the  206 young woman (whom she helps financially),  the strong-willed  Danielle  moves from anger, rebellion and depression to a "zestful" old age. Sandrine photographs, and "Auntie" is the happy subject,  lifting her glass  of wine in a toast to adventure against a backdrop of snow-covered mountain  peaks.  While decline. La Antonio,  Tatie Danielle  focuses on rebellion against aging and bodily  Vieille qui matchait  dans la mer, based on a novel by San  centers around the sexual desires of an aging woman. An  accomplished con-artist and swindler. Lady M. (Jeanne Moreau) is a powerful  trickster "hag-Crone" in the tradition of the ancient  death  goddess. "Je suis une vieille salope," she announces to her mirror. Dressed in a gown and picture hat, she walks into the ocean and pounds her cane three times in a thundering summons that pulls the handsome  beach-  boy, Lambert, from the arms of his latest affair to come running to her side. Standing in the sea like an ancient death-Crone, her cane becomes the staff of power calling the "chosen one" to sacrifice. Emphasizing her power, she, Delilah-like, cuts off his pony-tail. "Mon complice?" she offers,  and Lambert accepts, to the consternation of her "vieux  compagnon,"  Pompilius.  The menage  a trois  sets off on a series of "adventures," black-  mailing a man having an extra-marital "fling" in Guadeloupe and copping the diamond diadem of an Indian maharajah  at a birthday party on the  Cote d'Azur. The "merveilleuse sorciere"^^ becomes more and more sexually attracted to Lambert,  while Pompilius struggles to maintain his  status. She becomes bolder, suggesting that Lambert sleep in her bed without sexual relations. She attempts to control his roving  sexuality.  207 telling him to "keep his pants zipped," and, failing that, installs a hidden camera in his bedroom. With Pompilius, she watches him make love to a young woman on closed-circuit TV. She is a " voyeusS  to the youthful  sexuality from which the unde sir ability of her aging body and " visage dettuit"  precludes her participation — all the more enraging because of  her former beauty.  Her silver grape-leaf  earrings fashioned  with  dangling bunches of fruit mark her association with a Bacchanalian, pagan sensuality.  Watching the young  couple disgusts and  stimulates  Pompilius, who departs with curlers in his hair only to return and jump into the tub with her. Temporarily, the older couple "recover their youth." It is the function of the death crone to dispose of the aging consort-king to make way for the new, youthful one, and so Lady M. frames  Pompilius.  He hangs himself after the diamond diadem which  Lambert has stolen is discovered in the fireplace by investigators. Together,  she and Lambert, who is now fully captured, return together  as compagnons  to Paris. She is termed a fee, a sorciere;  the sound of her  falling cane signals another victim. Is she the death Crone, eternally rejuvenating herself  by dooming another young man to be her consort?  A Jocasta, or a Lea, who tricks her son out of living and life-giving relationships with young women? Or is she a woman who  suffers  because she is aging and is no longer desirable to desirable men. With age, she must "contrive herself,' being alternately cruel and kind, and  amusing,  powerful  and  vulnerable,  unpredictable,  profound.  Otherwise,  always  angry  mysterious,  she just might vanish,  unnoticed  unsung, into the sea, into the fluid dimension of the female imaginary.  and  208 While French literature and films frequently classical Goddess mythological themes of ancient,  are attuned to the agrarian  Europe,  American writers and films tend to downplay the fearsome side of the Crone's role in sacred rites of death and rebirth. In Fried Tomatoes,  The  Cemetery  Club, and A  Company  women's roles revolve around healing,  Green  of Strangers, the aging  stories, relationship,  and  community. The notion of the healing power of an elder wisewoman's stories is not confined to ethnic or folklore traditions. Writers such as Carolyn Heilbrun in  Writing  a Woman's  Life  and Carol Gilligan affirm the  importance of story as a model or inspiration for women's lives and the need for new stories which do not recapitulate old patterns. In Fannie Flagg's novel, Fried Green Tomatoes Cafe{i9d>%), and subsequent film, recreation  of  her  sister-in-law's  at the  an old nursing home unconventional  WAistie  Stop  resident's  life-story  gives  inspiration to Evelyn, a stereotypical "Southern lady" in mid-life crisis. "I may be sitting here at the Rose Terrace Nursing Home, but in my mind I'm over at the Whistle Stop Cafe having a plate of fried green tomatoes," is how Mrs. Cleo Threadgoode, a.k.a. "Ninny," sets the stage for the storywithin-a-story  that  forms  the  work's  structure.  Ninny Threadgoode (in the film version, "Lily, "played by Jessica Tandy), an aging widow from one of Whistle Stop, Alabama's leading families in the 1920's, befriends Evelyn, overweight, obliging, to  see  "nice," pleasant,  and depressed, who visits the home routinely with her husband his  cantankerous  mother.  The  mother-in-law's  bad-tempered  refusal to talk to her son's wife gives Evelyn and Ninny ample time to exchange life  stories.  209 Ninny  reminiscences  about her  tomboy  sister-in-law,  Idgie  Threadgoode, and her friend, Ruth, who ran a little cafe back in Whistle Stop during the Depression. Idgie's and Ruth's story is a "genealogical" one about dispensing love, care, and good food during hard times and resisting  institutional  oppression.  Institutionalized  racism  and  domination of women, enforced by violence, terrorism, and the Ku Klux Klan, threaten Idgie, Ruth and Ruth's little boy, when Ruth's  ex-husband  Frank Bennett crosses over from Georgia to take back his "property." Frank never returns to Valdosta, and his truck is found years later in the river. Meanwhile, Idgie and Ruth, Sipsey, Onzell, and Big George go on serving the best barbecue in Alabama at the Whistle Stop Cafe. Over candy bars and weekly tales of Idgie, the "Alabama bee charmer,"  Mrs. Threadgoode and Evelyn form a friendship,  with Evelyn  learning an "ethics of care" that includes care of "self." Gradually, Evelyn's depression recedes  as she tries exercise,  assertiveness,  "hormones," and a job selling Mary Kay cosmetics, which rewards her with success, her own income, and a pink Cadillac. "Mrs. Threadgoode made her feel young" and brought her back to life from thoughts of suicide, Evelyn confesses (Flagg, 359). Like Gather and Porter, Flagg probes the culture of the South: feminine in its warmth, humor, sense of community  and intergenerational  continuity;  masculinist  in its  strongly  patterned ideals of "womanhood" (closer to the French "EUe" than any other American region); and terrifying  in its  simmering  repressiveness  which stands ready to explode if the conventions are broken.  However,  unlike Gather's "Old Mrs. Harris" and Porter's "Granny Weatherall", current fictional and cinematic old wisewomen, in both France and America, tend to tell stories with a positive, transformative  ending.  210 Since the values of the post-1960's decades tend to be democratic ones (in contrast to the smouldering passions of complementarity and repression of women and minorities  symbolized by Idgie"s Alabama of  the 1930's), today's elders advise their younger female financially independent,  violent  adventuresome,  audience to be  and caring of self as well as  others. When older women talk among themselves in a fictional representation,  it frequently  includes  thoughts about  coping with  loss  and death, either the death or physical incapacitation of a loved one or their own deaths. In  The Cemetery  Club, three  middle-aged,  widows struggle to cope with the deaths of their husbands, various strategies for accepting death and their own  Jewish modeling  aging.Doris  (Olympia Dukakis) is the traditional wife, whose life stops with her husband"s death. Unable to make a satisfying new life for herself, she remains connected to her husband,  visiting his grave frequently  to  "talk" with him about her loneliness. Soon after his death, she dies of a heart attack. Lucille (Diane Ladd) is a combination of bravado and revenge, masking loss and lack of care. Her excesses are a form of selfabuse, reflecting the emotional pain she suffered husband's infidelities and a desire to somehow  because of her  "get back" at him. Esther  (Ellen Burstyn) provides the "best" model. A child-wife,  Esther describes  the "sleeping beauty" quality of her marriage at a young age to a successful  businessman who lavished  care on her for nearly  four  decades, until one day ""he was dead." She feels loss, pain and bewilderment but is determined to go on living. She learns new skills, independence,  and shakily tries a  "new relationship,'"  becoming  empowered through her loss. The three women remain linked in  21 1 friendship  and connectedness as they each struggle to define  their  futures and accept their pasts in their own ways. The theme of older women forming new communities of friendship and aid is also a central one in The  Company  of  Strangers  Mary Meigs, one of "the company of eclectic seniors," wrote a companion book, In the  Company  of Strangers  (1991), which takes the reader  backstage into the lives of the eight other, mostly elderly, women of the film's cast and the three younger women who were director,  associate  producer, and writer. Both the film and book are gentle meditations on aging, time, memory, life, friendship and death. If women's myths are to be found in the mundane, in the area of "genealogy" — in Foucault's singular events, without history, in unpromising places, in sentiments, love, conscience, instincts — then this "semi-documentary" film creates a magical space in which a group of elderly women and their bus driver emerge from the matrix of their ordinary lives to enter an imaginary realm of connectedness  and  meaning. With the skilled precision of a neurosurgeon, Meigs runs her scalpel cleanly along the interface of real life and myth, noting where and how the two fuse and merge, the process, and the effect of the process. The film plot is simple: a bus carrying seven elderly women from ethnically and socio-economically diverse backgrounds to a Golden Age retreat breaks down while making  an unscheduled  detour to find  the  rural childhood summer home of one of the women. The breakdown provides the several days of isolation needed for the group of strangers to become friends, to devise practical solutions for coping together, and to begin to confide in one another. The old, abandoned house and  212 surrounding landscape of lake and rolling, wooded hills becomes a pastoral metaphor for old age, memory, life aad death as well as a "mother space," in which necessities are provided. As Meigs observes, the mist from which the bus emerges at the beginning of the film "symbolizes the absence of explanation ... the mist cuts us off from reasons, and lifts to show us, who have stepped out of time and logic into a magic space where old women have room to exist" (10). In short, the mist symbolizes the creation of a mythic space, set apart from the "everyday" world, in which elderly women can be heard. Meigs also delicately explores the effect  of becoming/being  myth  upon the individual's sense of self. She examines the construction of the many "selves" which make up an individual's fluid, amorphous identity: the interdiscursivity between film, women themselves; event differently.  the multiple  discourses which  somewhat text,  and the  perceive the same  She sensitively identifies facets of the myriad self: the  "pattern face" (the mask by which people recognize us, and we recognize others); the "shadow selves" (seen in childhood pictures  where  we can see the lives we did not lead as well as the ones we did); the mirror image (which shows the passage of time); the inner image (by which we keep ourselves young); our "ideal or semi-selves" (the myth of our "ideal" selves in which we are and receive what we truly desire); the old self; the everyday "real" self; the fictional self of the film. The film's world presents the "myth of our ideal selves" in which "we are the center of attention," unlike real life where old people are often invisible or an obstacle (77). Like a fairy-tale, the film protects against time: "We are filming a holiday from growing old ... in the real world we move along the conveyor belt of old age like luggage at the airport"  213 (79).  She describes the emergence of the "focused" self as a result of  participating in the filming process; the focused self aligns aspects of the everyday, individual self with the film images to create yet another self. Meigs interweaves linear and circular time, the women's  self-  images and film images, portraits of their past and present lives, and the film-makers'  vision into a storytelling  about elderly women and  their powers — a story which extracts them from the human mass and gives them voice. Connected now through bonds of friendship in their real lives, they share in and are transformed by their participation in the creation of the film's myth. As Meigs concludes, "The special power of our film is to make people happy" (12). It is interesting to compare the two French films released in the early  1970's with more recent ones, especially those directed by, or  with screenplays written by, women. In Le ChatSimA La older women  are portrayed  as sympathetic victims,  Veuve  Couderc,  "spunky" but  overwhelmed by social forces, in a manner similar to Foucault's view of the voices of "I'Autr^  in genealogical history. While portraying the  "invisible" or silenced "Other" as abject and victimized was characteristic of that decade and represented, awareness  perhaps, a necessary stage in increasing  ("consciousness-raising,"  representations  it was termed),  of older women have  changed  happily  dramatically  in recent  years. As more women from all socio-economic groups enjoy a longer, healthier life-span, audience and  forming  a larger and more culturally  (and consumer market),  screen-writing  and as more women  roles in the increasingly  varied  assume  diversified  directing  film-making  industry, more varied and more positive roles for old women are presented  on-screen and in fictional  and non-fictional  books.  Kathleen  214 Woodward notes in Aging  and Its Discontents  th^t "it will be easier to  change meanings associated with aging in the middle years as they extend into vigorous and healthy years of late life than the meanings associated with the years of very advanced or frail old age" (194). Yet, as Woodward concludes, "at the same time as the material conditions of aging are undergoing change, so too our culture is producing new representations  of aging"  (194).  215  NOTES ^See Sarde, "Regard sur Eve franqraise" in Regard sur les franfaises (Paris: Editions Stock, 1983) 11-14. See also Simone de Beauvoir, "Mythe" in Le Deuxieme Sexe. 2David E. Biegel, Barbara K. Shore, Elizabeth Gordon. Buildiag for the Elderly (Beverly Hills, Sage Publications, 1984) 19.  Support  Networks  ^United Nations Department of Economic and Social Development, Statistical Division. 1991 Demographic Yearbook, 43rd issue (New York: United Nations, 1992), 163-164 and 116All. ^ The World Almanac and Book Association, Inc., 1986) 622. ^(Besthesda, ^ Carey Seattle  Maryland:  The  of Facts,  Feminist  1986 (New  Institute  York:  Newspaper  Clearinghouse,  Enterprise  1988).  Quan Gelernter, "Crone: Women Growing Older With Passion and Times/Post Intelligencer, May 23. 1993 L4.  Purpose,"  ^The "Crone" groups have their parallels in the women's literary club movement a century ago, a development which reflected the growing education and social activism of late nineteenth-century women. 8 Gelernter,  op. cit, L4.  ^ While well-bred young women are frequently enjoined to be "nice," this word has a dubious ancestry. Although Webster's New World Dictionary definitions of the word "nice" include "having high standards of conduct; agreeable; pleasant; delightful; attractive; pretty; kind; thoughtful; considerate; modest; wellmannered; reserved; in good taste"; and "a generalized term of approval," the word is derived from Old French nice, niche, nisce, meaning "stupid, foolish" and from the Latin nescivs {n e, not + scire, to know), ignorant, not knowing. ^ ^"Merveilleuse" can also to the Larousse de PocAe  connote  a  "femme  elegante  et  excentrique,"  according  216  The  CHAPTER 8 "Ouie": Grandmother's  Crone's  Stories  This is the way Aunt Susie told the story. She had certain phrases, certain distinctive words she used in her telling. I write when I still hear her voice as she tells the story. Leslie Marmon Silko  Storyteller The  grandmother's  "oui,"  or affirmation,  also includes the  obligation to "listen" ("oui'e") to the stories of others. Through the exchange of stories, both telling and listening, a community that accepts "difference," emerging  and multiplicity can perhaps develop at a time when  voices  include  those of  postcolonialist  societies,  non-Western  immigrant groups, and native cultures as well as those of women, who continue to use their stories to forge connection, solve life problems, and explore  new  In  territory.  the  late  twentieth-century,  to reject values established  post-modernism  marks  the  by the Enlightenment project and,  attempt  later,  industrialization. The central position of the individual is being reexamined,  and the emphasis upon the unified  discredited.  The abandonment  criteria for  "art" and "literature" as a universal  many  voices from  of  the confines  the attempt  subject has been  of literary consideration,  publishers,  and  serious  critical  and  European  standard has released  of anthropologically  into the main-stream reviewers,  to establish  interesting  including access academic  folkways to  attention.  Simultaneously, there is an attempt, on the part of many  contemporary  North American ethnic and feminine writers, who use the voices of marginalized  peoples, to reject  alienation  and fragmentation  by re-  217 creating a kind of generativity that reconnects to place and genealogy as a source of healing. The  "spiritual  grandmother,"  disavowed  during  the decades  in  which women authors fled the domestic sphere of 'the mothers" to struggle for acceptance in the male-dominated canons of "art," is being reinvoked,  although  to underscore  rather different  values. In  this  project of recovery (in Foucault's sense of re-discovery and of healing). Grandmother's post-industrial  stories are a pathway for connection yearning  cultures. Grandmother's  for  re-connective  which bridges a  belonging  and  traditional  stories are valued because they help let  "you"  know "who you are," ground and root "you" in an identity, tell "you" what people "you" belong to and orient "you" to the place where "you" live. But — over and above its "useful," recuperative function — storytelling gives pleasure. " ... All I have is a story," Trinh Minh-ha claims. "Story passed on from generation to generation, named Joy. Told for the joy it gives the storyteller and the listener. Joy inherent in the process of storytelling" (119). Grandmother's identify,  connect to tradition, break  stories, then, not only heal,  stereotypes, or suggest  new  possibilities, they are also a source of pleasure and happiness to both teller and listener. This insight underlies Mary Meig's conclusion that the purpose —  or effect — of the old women's stories in The Company  Strangers  is to "make people happy." Joy and humor — often wry,  frequently  penetrating  or unexpected  — underlie  the  of  "new"  grandmothers' stories, whose message is, in Meig's words, "be kind to yourselves as old women and to each other" (73). Even de Beauvoir observed that they  that  studies  of  "... manifestent  (mostly)  female  French  centenarians  revealed  des enthusiasmes juveniles, ont leur dadas, un  218 sens aigu de I'humour ... ils sont optimistes et n'expriment pas la moindre crainte de la mort"  (1970:574).  Grandmother's  Community  Stories:  A  of  Belonging  The grandmother's function of creating a community, its rules belonging,  and arbitrating  its membership through  detail in Jewett's Country of the Pointed  story,  described  Firs (Chapter 4), has  for in  resurfaced  in the emerging literature of marginalized and immigrant groups in the United States. In Leslie Marmon Silko's Storyteller,  one role of the  grandmothers is to keep and pass down the traditions and to tell the stories  that make up one's identity. Marmon Silko's  grandmother  A'mooh teaches her to make red chili "the old way" (34) and tells her not only the traditional and mythical stories but also stories about her family. Marmon Silko learned many of the Laguna Pueblo stories  from  her Grandmother Lillie and her Aunt Susie Marmon. Aunt Susie went away to the "Indian School" in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, studied history, and taught school, but was "still one of the last generation to pass down an entire culture, an entire history, and an entire vision of the world which  depended  generations"  upon  memory  and  retelling  by  subsequent  (6).  In the stories which Marmon Silko recounts from grandmothers  and Aunt  Susie, she includes  her  the explanatory  phrases  and  asides which the elders used to connect the old words of the stories with the language and context of the current listener. Her aunt was born as the old culture was suffering incursions by the Europeans. The oral transmission  of stories was interrupted  by the children being  taken  away from their culture and sent to residential schools to learn European ways. The result was suppression and loss of their Native  219 language, customs, ceremonies, and rituals, so that Aunt Susie had to provide information  and interpretation of parts of the stories in her  own words in order to pass down meaning to the younger generations. In "Aunt Susie had certain phrases," Marmon Silko fondly describes her relative's  storytelling  style,  which  combines  personal,  idiosyncratic  elements with a traditional tale. In her story "asides," Aunt Susie explains that "yashtoah" is the hardened crust on corn meal mush; that Pueblo people always called "upstairs" because long ago their homes were two or three stories high with an entrance at the top; and that there used to be a trail down the east side of Acoma (mesa). Here she is transmitting  not only the pleasurable, traditional  story itself  — why  Acoma has beautiful butterflies made from the clothing of a little girl who drowned  herself  because her mother didn't want to make  yashtoah  for her — but information about the language, food utensils, trails and customs of the past. In discussion of an oral tradition, the question of how much creative latitude a storyteller is allowed in retelling a particular story often  arises. Marmon  Silko addresses  this,  commenting:  ... sometimes what we call 'memory' and what we call 'imagination' are not so easily distinguished. ...I know Aunt Susie and Aunt Alice would tell me stories they had told me before but with changes in details or descriptions. The story was the important thing and little changes here and there were really part of the story. There were even stories about the different versions of stories and how they imagined these differing versions came to be. (227) Referring  to tribal stories, Paula Gunn-Allen remarks  that:  The stories are woven of elements that illuminate the ritual  220  tradition of the storyteller's people, make pertinent points to some listener who is about to make a mistake or who has some difficulty to resolve, and hold the listeners' attention so that they can experience a sense of belonging to a sturdy and strong tradition. (1989:1) Storytelling becomes a medium for what Paula Gunn-Allen,  Leslie  Marmon Silko, Alice Walker or Clarissa Pinkola Estes might term ceremonial  healing:  the  restoration  and  revitalization  of  marginalized  peoples. Old  Women's  Stories  and  the  Power  of  Healing  It is, however, not only marginalized ethnic groups who are rediscovering the healing power of stories. "Stories Clarissa Pinkola Estes claims in Women Myths  and  Stories  of the  Wild  Woman  Who Run Archetype  are medicine," With  the  Wolves:  (1992), a work  combining archetypal folktales of the (old) wild woman with a postJungian  psychological  interpretation,  which  has been a bestseller  among  middle-class American women for two years. "They [stories] have such power; they do not require that we do, be, act anything — we need only listen" (15). "Stories connect us to the universe of medicine — of paranormal  or sacred power" (3), Paula Gunn-Allen notes in  Grandmothers collection of  of the Light:  A Medicine  Woman's  Sourcebook,  her  women's ritual stories, drawn from the oral traditions of  Native America. "It will take a long time, but the story must be told. There must not be any lies," says the old man in "Storyteller," the title story in Leslie Marmon Silko's Storyteller  (26). "Each story is at once a  fragment and a whole; a whole within a whole. And the same story has always been changing, for things which do not shift and grow cannot continue to circulate," Trinh T. Minh-ha writes in "Grandma's Story"  221 (123). As these comments, drawn from a variety of ethnic and social backgrounds,  demonstrate,  storytelling  has  become  a vital  medium  for  the contemporary act of reviving and breathing new life into the Old Woman/Grandmother and ancient ritual of  archetype,  a  process  in  which  traditions are retold and reinterpreted  collective  myths  to continue  the  healing.  Clarissa Pinkola Estes' re-telling of "La Loba," the old bone woman's story, illustrates this act of revivification as well as one of the most  distinguishing  overt connection  qualities  of  the contemporary  crone archetype:  with the instinctual, intuitive psyche. A  analyst, folklorist, and cantadora  storyteller  of  its  post-Jungian  Mexican-Spanish  ancestry, adopted into a Hungarian family, Estes collected variants of "La Loba" in Texas, Mexico, and the Pueblos of the Southwest.i " The stories told by Est6s in Women from  a positive feminine  Who Run  perspective  With Wolves  rather than from  are  society's  negative view of women's psyches and roles. These tales, like reinterpretations important  of the Greek  archetypal  study.  Goddess myths or Barbara  termed  "subversive"  often Spretnak's  Walker's  The Crone, are all contemporary efforts  revitalize feminine creativity, in what feminists have  told  or  "transgressive"  of the 1970's  terms:  to  might  the rehabilitation  of  the old woman/young woman archetype as one of power, energy, and resourcefulness  stemming  from  qualities  which  can  be tapped  through  the psyche. The "wild" element of the Crone archetype is redefined.  "The  word ' W J W here is not used in its modern pejorative sense, meaning out of control," writes Estes, "but in its original sense, which means to live a natural life, one in which the criatura, healthy  boundaries" (8). Remembering  creature, has innate integrity  and  that one of the characteristics of  222  the "old woman" category in my "Crone" typology is loss of boundaries (see figure 1), the restorative aspect of Estes "story" of the old wolf woman can be seen. A final comparison between the story of "La Loba" and the tale of "Little Red Riding Hood," which has been examined from perspectives in previous chapters, is useful  several  here. Both are similar in  that their plots and moral messages revolve around the same characters:  the old  woman  (grandmother),  the young  (granddaughter), and the wolf, in a life-threatening  symbolic  woman  situation.  "La Loba,"  however, is told from a woman's point of view, while the Perrault, Grimm and subsequent versions reinforce what Jack Zipes in The and Tribulations  of Little Red Riding Hood  projection ... founded on a male  Trials  has termed a "neurotic male  social conception of women and  sexuality" (42). In the predominant versions of "Little Red Riding Hood," both the girl and the grandmother are victims: in Zipes' words, the little girl is "pretty, spoiled, gullible and helpless" (9), while the grandmother is equally helpless and silent. Both presumably collude with the wolf in their rape and death (in their victimization). As Zipes has outlined, Perrault's and the Grimms' versions of "Little Red Riding Hood" are "part of the literary socialization  process  [which reinforces]  socially  accepted  ways of viewing women, sexuality, and nature" (53), a process which supported  aristocratic  "civilized"  behavior,  and  later  rational  bourgeois  values  of  order, and technological  regulated, production.  These  cautionary tales foreground the actions of the little girl, the wolf and their  dire  consequences.  While Little Red Riding Hood's grandmother is presented as a passive figure,  an object who is acted upon, "La Loba," the old wild  223 woman, is active with an important, sacred task to fulfill.  She collects  bones — the lost, scattered remnants of medicinal stories. She has many bones in her desert cave, but her specialty is wolves, a despised and feared  animal, commonly a symbol of sexuality, especially forceful  seductive  male sexuality.  Estes, however,  resuscitates  an ancient  or wolf  image: that of the "wolf as mother." Mythical nurse to Romulus and Remus, the wolf-mother  was the symbol of ancient Rome.  the wolf as a powerful  female image of protection, nurture and creative  energy,  Estes  undermines  cultural  stereotypes  of  Reclaiming  fragile  feminine  helplessness in the face of male sexuality, arguing that it is precisely women's  separation  from  their  strength and  vitality, an  promoted by cultural images of the "feminine," lethargy, passivity and loss of  self-confidence  alienation  which produces and  esteem.  A healthy woman is much like a wolf: robust, chock-full, strong life-force, life-giving, territorially aware, inventive, loyal, roving. Yet, separation from the wildish nature causes a woman's personality to become meager, thin, ghostly, spectral. We are not meant to be puny with frail hair and inability to leap up, inability to chase, to birth, to create a life. When women's lives are in stasis, ennui, it is always time for the wildish woman to emerge; it is time for the creating function of the psyche to flood the delta. (12) As a revival of an aspect of the Crone archetype, "La Loba" is far closer in flavor to the medieval French peasant oral tradition which provided the elements for Perrault's tale, although the French tale only hints at the grandmother's  transformative  power in its mixed  pagan-  Christian allusions to her sacrificed flesh and blood. In Paul Delarue's text, "The Story of Grandmother,"2 a version of oral tales circulating among the peasantry in those regions of France [the Loire, Nievre,  224 Forez, Velay, and the Alps] where werewolf-witch lingering pagan traditions were most common sixteenth and  and  seventeenth  saves herself  forester.  trials to suppress  in the  fifteenth,  centuries,^ the little girl outwits the wolf  without intervention  from  a woodcutter,  hunter  or  Grandmother's cat (cats were thought to be a witch's  "familiar") warns the girl of her danger. Estes comments that through the "civilizing" process by which Perrault, Grimm and others traditional  altered  stories to fit bourgeois norms, "many women's teaching  about sex, love, money,  marriage, birthing,  death  and  tales  transformation  were lost" (16). In "La Loba," the old woman's song empowers the redefined  wolf-mother/laughing  with  "wildish  her  girl  to  realize  her  essential  connection  nature."  This intuitive knowing of the values and ways of "wildish nature" indicates another aspect of the current revival of the Crone archetype: her deep connection  to the environment,  especially  the wilderness  and  its preservation. Today, nature is regarded by some as an endangered species, an inversion of centuries' old struggle in Western civilization to dominate,  control  and regulate  natural  processes  and creatures.  The  Crone's wisdom and grandmother's voice are being invoked not only by psychologists and storytellers but also by ecofeminists conservationists  to prevent  growth and toxic  destruction  of  the  in alliance with  "wild"  through  urban  pollution.  The multiplicity of ethnic voices has contributed not only to reinstatement  of  "the grandmother"  as an important  storyteller  to an increase of her powers. In nineteenth-century  American  literature, the grandmother was confined  to enlivening  status quo  spiritual  generativity  with a sense of  but  also  domestic  a nostalgic,  harmony and  morality  225 based  upon caring. In contemporary  American,  Native, Hispanic,  African  Asian and Jewish literatures, the old woman  archetype  acquires far more depth and power, through her role in preserving a sense of tradition and identity  while suggesting  pathways of  survival  and adaptation in the face of intense cultural change. Her keen sense of humor and insight, often ironic or paradoxical, also helps the people of her  community. Some of these cultures retain a closer relationship to the ancient  concept of the mother-as-creatress American ones. In Grandmothers Sourcebook,  than do the European or Angloof the Light:  A Medicine  Woman's  Paula Gunn Allen describes Xmucane, Grandmother of the  Light, the Mayan goddess who creates human beings out of both corn and light. Thinking Woman, or Grandmother Spider, is "the Great Goddess of the Keres Indians, of whom my tribe, the Laguna Pueblo Tribe, is one," she continues. Grandmother Spider, who appears in the ceremonial life of the Zuiii, Hopi, Navajo as well as Pueblo peoples, "thought the earth, the sky, the galaxy, and all that is into being, and as she thinks, so are we" (1991:28). Grandmother examples  of  the  Spider and Xmucane, Grandmother of the Light, supernatural,  magical  grandmothers  whose  creates life, new beings and forms. Grandmother Spider,  are  thought  the  overarching divinity of the Keres, is the "force or magical or spiritual power that enables whatever happens to happen," Spider  Woman's  Granddaughters  Gunn Allen writes in  (211). In the Native American  there are also examples of grandmothers  who are bridges between  supernatural world and the human, not unlike the Greek myths. Allen's "A Hot Time"^ recounts  how,  like  stories,  Prometheus,  the  Gunn  Grandmother  226 Spider, incarnated as a tiny, aged black spider, brought fire and light to her people. She adds, this story is "a commentary on the supposed infirmities of old age" (1991: xv). In "Evil Kachina Steals Yellow Woman,"  collected by Franz Boas and Ruth Benedict from the Cochiti  Pueblos in the  1920's, Grandmother Spider helps the husband find  and  rescue his wife, who has been abducted by the Evil Kachina, an abductor and seducer who takes women away from  their villages to  serve him in his home far to the east; he kills those who fail to serve him well.5  The presence of the grandmother-as-bridge is indicative of  the intertwining of sacred and everyday realities in tribal ritual  and  ceremonial life. In a third type, the grandmother who is a wise woman can pass down sacred  information  and teachings to grandchildren,  who  in turn will teach their grandchildren. The example of Pretty Shield, an elderly the late  Crow  woman  interviewed  by ethnologist  Frank Linderman  in  1920's, illustrates the manner in which sacred information  is  passed on. Pretty Shield had learned the ways of the chickadee her  grandmother,  who in turn learned  from  her grandmother.  from Seven-  stars. The chickadee was Seven-stars' medicine, Gunn Allen relates. The chickadee came to Seven-stars after the woman  she had purified  herself  and told  "her future and the importance of every creature tending to  its own work everyday."  Pretty Shield's  grandmother told her the story  "to educate Pretty Shield to the way of the nonphysical world, and to help her in her own future role as wise woman" (Gunn Allen, 1991: 4). In the work of reclaiming a non-Western identity, the African  or  Asian storyteller, according to Trinh T. Minh-ha, must work at "unlearning the dominant language of 'civilized' missionaries; [she also] has to learn how to un-write and write anew.  227  And she often does so by re-establishing the contact with her foremothers, so that living tradition can never congeal into fixed forms, so that life keeps on nurturing life, so that what is understood as the Past continues to provide the link for the Present and the Future." (148-149) In Laguna thought, as presented by Silko, life is story. Ritually telling the story itself makes the future reality, not only for an individual but for a tribe or people. "Marmon Silko as a storyteller never loses sight of the difference ha  between truth and fact," Trinh Minh-  comments. Her naming retains the accuracy storytelling without ever confining naming. It is accurate because it rigid. ... It is accurate because it motion of forces that lie dormant  Breaking  the  and magic of our grandmothers' it to the realm of factual is at once extremely flexible and partakes in the setting into in us. (148)  Mold  The notion of the healing power of an old wisewoman's stories is not confined to ethnic or folklore traditions. Writers such as Carolyn Heilbrun in Writing Voice  a Woman's  Life  and Carol GiUigan in In A  Different  affirm the importance of story as a model or inspiration for  women's lives and the need for new stories which do not recapitulate old patterns. In Flagg's Fried Ninny  Threadgoode's  Green Tomatoes  re-telling  of  Idgie  At The Whistle  Threadgoode's  Stop  Cafe,  unconventional  life story and her own wisdom help Evelyn break out of the lethargy which her interiorized social  environment  conformity  to the patriarchal  has produced. Fried  Green  repression of  her  Tomatoes is a very  serious story told in an amusing, light-hearted, style. The episode of Frank Bennett's killing is pivotal, because he represents the threat of domestic  violence  and  repression,  supported  by  the  institutionalized  228 structures of the society, which results in the interiorization of and inactivity. The story of Idgie includes  passivity  "genealogical" information  for  surviving — even thriving — with love, warmth, friendship and humor in the face  of a patriarchally  controlled  society, maintained  through  violence and fear. Frank's killing is mysteriously achieved by a coalition of the oppressed, led by the "black" nurse, Sipsey, acting instinctively in the "name of life" to prevent him from abducting Ruth's baby son. While story is a critical element in the grandmother's revival as an image in the United States, this does not seem to be as marked in France. Instead, Tatie Danielle, the querulous aging woman who to conform to bourgeois expectations and to grow old  refuses  "gracefully,"  underscores the French perspective on aging. As I have pointed out, the theme of the aging, incontinent female body, undesirable, struggling maintain  autocratic  control  incapable of zestful  over  those  unfortunates  around  her,  to  and  living, haunts the French literary imagination:  the  shrew, the panderer, the hag, the witch, the shriveled crone in black rags. She is the opposite of "la Fran^aise," Michele Sarde's term for the trope of feminine desirability. Yet the demographics of age, which as discussed  earlier  demonstrate  persons over 65, the majority  a numerically  increasingly  cohort  of  of whom are women, are gradually  bringing about cinematic portrayals  of powerful  older women  who  refuse to accept senility. Even de Beauvoir, who displayed an unusual sensitivity to and aversion for the bodily processes of decay and death, mentioned in La  Vieillesse  the example of George Bernard Shaw, "qui  avait eu grand-peur de la mort et du gatisme entre 50 et 60 ans .... [II] declara qu'apres 60 ans il avait commence 'sa seconde enfance': il eprouvait  un  d^licieux  sentiment  de  liberte,  d'aventure.  229 d'irresponsabilite"  (1970:512). She was even moved to comment that  "...  il est vrai que de maniere generale la vieillesse a certains avantages" (513). As a final word on "breaking the mold," I would like to return to the "Little Red Riding Hood" tale and its subversion. Jack Zipes, who emphasizes the influence of this story and "Sleeping Beauty" in maintaining  bourgois  "the period from  codes of  female  sexual  repression,  comments  that  1919 to 1945 generated ... cracks in the traditional  cultural pattern inscribed in the plot of the fairy tale" (31). This period corresponds to the period of discontinuity, discussed in Chapter 5, in which  women  were  striving  to escape  conventional  middle-class  patterns which denied them voice and access to privilege (other than through birth or marriage to a privileged male). Variants from period turned the tale upside down.  Charles Guyot's  "The  this  Granddaughter  of Red Riding Hood" (1922), as described by Zipes, "transformed the point of the tale from one that preaches the control of appetites to one that questions the need to control desire, preference,  and  expectations"  (32). Other versions, such as Milt Gross's Yiddish American version of "Sturry from Rad Ridink Hoot" (1925) comments upon the bourgois sexual code from an immigrant's point of view: "the seriousness of the tale is parodied, making the stringent sexual code appears ridiculous" (32). After World War II, the tale continued to be parodied or adapted in both Europe and America. Zipes sums up the three major currents in the radical "Little Red Riding Hood" tales between 1950 to 1980. First, many narratives portray Little Red Riding Hood coming into her own, developing a sense of independence with help from  males. Second, some  tales and poems seek to rehabilitate the wolf. Third, some stories are  230  unusual  aesthetic  experiments,  debunking  traditional  narrative  forms  and seeking to free their audience so that they can question the conventional  cultural  patterns  (39).  With these three trends in mind, I would like to conclude with a discussion of the "New Age" grandmother, described in a contemporary version of Little Red Riding Hood which was disseminated a few months ago on an Internet electronic bulletin board. "Little Red Riding Hood - A Politically Correct Fairy Tale" (1993), by Jim Garner, humorously portrays a grandmother  who prefers  baskets of fresh  fruit  and  mineral  water, and who is not sick "but rather in full physical and mental health and [is] fully capable of taking care of herself as a mature adult." After the wolf has followed  the time-honored path to Grandma's house,  devoured her ("an entirely valid course of action for a carnivore such as himself"), and hopped into her bed. Red Riding Hood arrives, saying "Grandma, I have brought you some fat-free,  sodium-free  snacks to  salute you in your role of a wise and nurturing matriarch." As the wolf leaps up to eat Little Red Riding Hood, the "woodchopper-person" "'log-fuel  (or  technician', as he preferred to be called") rushes in to save the  two women. "Sexist! Speciesist! How dare you assume that womyn and wolves can't solve their own problems without a man's help," cries the independent Red Riding Hood.  "Grandma" jumps from the Wolf's  mouth  at hearing these words, snatches the "woodchopper person's" axe and beheads him. Grandma, Red Riding Hood, and the Wolf decide to "set up an alternative  household  based  on  mutual  respect  and  cooperation."  Perrault's and the Grimm brothers' moral code is mocked and  subverted  by the "New Age" tale's motto: "Souvent le Vice reussit h s'approprier la recompense de la  Vertu."  23 1 Whether she is "La Loba," the wild woman, a "New Age" selfsufficient  grandmother,  rejuvenated figure  Southern  suggest  an adventuresome woman,  "breaking  cultural assumptions  the  "Tatie Danielle,"  contemporary mold,"  images  overturning  in order presumably  old age, one which values connection,  of  or a  the  stereotypes  grandmother and  to achieve a more  "zestful"  relationship and generativity  as  well as independence and activity. These images, which convey an almost  Garden-of-Eden-like  optimism  and  certainty  that  "zest"  is  within  reach of every woman, suggest the need for a certain amount of skepticism.6  Inevitably, everyone must face dying, and for many  people, there will be a discrepancy between their experience of their own body and social representations of an energetic old age. At the same time, the prevalence and accessibility of affirmation "ou'ie"), figure  (the "oui"  and  of positive images and roles for the "grandmother" or "crone" underscores  the contemporary  emergence  and may represent more than a new feminine  of  "women's  representation  voices" in  the  masculine symbolic — the beginning of a discourse in which women-assubjects  create  their own  roles, images, and  representations.  There are even indications that complementarity of roles, or the "battle of the sexes" which theories of the phallic symbolic order or a "feminine discourse" imply, is moderating in favor of the egalitarian relationships of mutuality  which Badinter describes. In any case, the  figure of the crone has traditionally been associated masculinization  with  (loss of reproductivity) just as the aging male has been  viewed as "feminized"  when his body approaches that state of  frailty,  decrepitude and incontinence which is characteristic of extreme old age. Woodward  notes  that  Jungian  psychoanalysis  "envisions  the  232  reconciliation of opposites in old age" (10), largely figured in gendered terms. Jungian psychoanalysis  "gives us the figures of the wise old man  and the wise old woman  unthinkable in Freudian  which foregrounds  ...  instead the "figure of heroic stoicism, always male,  produced in response to the vicissitudes of the body She argues  that Freudian psychoanalysis  theories which derive from culture's traditions  repression and  psychoanalysis"  (and  by extension  question  the dominant  "other  psychoanalytic  discourse of  psychoanalysis" (193). The discourse of today's wise crones, stories come from  many cultural  position to the fear-driven  those  Freudian thought) is "complicit with our  of aging" (192), but that  practices  in old age" (10).  Freudian whose  traditions, may present a counter-  stereotypes of the aging body,  intimately  associated with the older woman, so that the very real human hopes, losses and fears associated with aging can be discussed openly. In her (and his) androgyny, the figures of the old wisewoman (and old wise man) may offer the possibility of a dialogue of mutuality, whether it be between  genders  or  between  generations. * ^ ^ ^ "^ ^  ^  rjt  ^  233  NOTES 1 In Storyteller, Leslie Marmon Silko has re-told Simon J. Ortiz' version of this tale in her poem "Skeleton Fixer." In the Silko-Ortiz version. Old Man Badger is the Old Skeleton Fixer, and the bones he resuscitates become Old Coyote Woman, another incarnation of the Wild Woman archetype. In Estes version, "La Loba" is an old woman, who assembles bones to revivify the wolf, which transforms into a laughing woman. Silko, Ortiz, and Gunn Allen are all have roots in the Laguna Pueblo, 2paul Delarue. Le Conte Populaire Quoted in Zipes and Mourey.  Frangais,  vol I (Paris: Erasme, 1957) 373-383.  ^ Zipes, 7. 4 Gunn-AUen.  Grandmothers  ^ Gunn Allen, SpiderWoman's  of the Light:  118-121.  Granddaughters:  210-215.  ^Recalling the socio-economic advantages which accrued to certain powerful groups as the result of the witchcraft persecution, one might question exactly who "benefits" from the so-called "health," "vigor," and collective independence of the elderly — through form of reduced institutionalized health benefits and care for this growing population cohort, for example.  234  Bibliography: Primary  Texts  Allen, Paula Gunn. Grandmothers Boston: Beacon Press, 1991.  Writing  by  of  the  Light:  Medicine  Woman's  Sourcebook.  . Spider Woman's Granddaughters: Traditional Tales and Contemporary Native American Women. New York: Fawcett Columbine, 1989. . The Sacred Hoop: Recovering Boston: Beacon Press, 1986.  Traditions.  A  the  Feminine  in  American  Indian  Beauvoir, Simone de. La Ceremonie des adieux. Paris; Gallimard: 1981. Adieux: A Farewell to Sartre, trans, by Patrick O'Brian. New York: Pantheon Books, 1984. . Le Deuxieme Sexe. Paris: Gallimard, 1949. 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