Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department / School



Since the women's movement and the advent of feminist criticism, many writers and critics have attempted to establish a new genre or suh-genre of the traditional/male Bildungsroman or novels which chronicle the passage from childhood to adulthood. Scholars such as Rita Felski and Gayle Greene have defined a feminist self-discovery narrative category to classify novels of female development; their studies focus on issues of gender and their influence on the female coming of age. lt is my contention, however, that there are contemporary novels by and about women in which the protagonist's gender is not the central influence on her development In this study, T explore three such • works—Alice Munro’s Lives of Girls ad Women, Margaret Atwood’s Cat’s Eye, and Lorrie Moore's Who Will Run the Frog Hospital? The purpose of this thesis, then, is to demonstrate how these works transcend a gender-based classification and make larger, more universal statements about identity and the freedom and authenticity lost in the transition from childhood to adulthood in a contemporary Western society.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Munro, Alice, 1931- Lives of girls & women
Munro, Alice, 1931- -- Characters -- Women
Atwood, Margaret, 1939- Cat's eye
Atwood, Margaret, 1939- -- Characters -- Women
Moore, Lorrie. Who will run the frog hospital?
Moore, Lorrie -- Characters -- Women
Women in literature



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University