Synopses & Reviews
This book, which originated as an M.A. thesis for Trent University's Frost Centre, analyzes the construction of new fluid forms of feminine identity in Canadian writer Elizabeth Smart's text By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept. This book posits that the identity crisis suffered by the female protagonist is a result of phallocentric definitions of femininity. Smart's work offers insights into methods for overcoming the limitations caused by these distorted definitions of femininity. Informed by the work of critical theorists Jacques Lacan, Julia Kristeva, Susan Gilbert and Sandra Gubar, Linda Hutcheon and Elizabeth Grosz, this book follows the protagonist's embodiment of several metaphors for reconceptualizing her feminine identity. These metaphors, the hermaphrodite, Frankenstein's monster and the fractal, give the protagonist the ability to metamorphose between traditionally gendered constructions of self in order to redefine herself. This book posits that Smart's text is all about the desire to move beyond sexed perceptions of identity in order to regain the power to express, and thus possess, definitions of self.