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Margaret Drabble

Since the debut of her first novel in 1963, Margaret Drabble has long been considered a feminist writer, concerned almost exclusively with the inner lives of female characters and what some critics have referred to as the 'female quest.' Indeed, most of her early novels are told from the point of view of a female protagonist, and depict issues that are decidedly female-centric: the struggle of young women to establish a sense of self-identity, relationships between sisters, and the perils and pitfalls of marriage, as well as the emotions associated with pregnancy, childbirth, and motherhood. As a woman herself, Drabble certainly understands the emotional impact of such events in the felale life, so it only makes sense that her characters would reflect a certain kind of experience and view of the world.

However, Drabble is not only interested in examining the events commonly associated with the female experience. Indeed, Drabble's novel reflect a desire to get to the heart of the psychological experience of what it means to be a woman, both as part of a family and as part of a larger world. Central to many of her narratives is the notion that the lives of female protagonists are in large part shaped by the inevitable influence of family and environment, as Drabble seems to assert that much of our lives are predestined by factors beyond our control. It is the female protagonists in her works that demonstrate this determinism most clearly, and thus, reveals Drabble's interest in this as a female psychological issue.

This paper will thus examine the role that family and environmental determinism play in the psychological maturation of female character in Drabble's novels. Specifically, the way in which Drabble's women struggle with deterministic problems and attempt to escape an unwelcome heritage that continues to haunt them will be considered. The female protagonists in A Summer Bird-Cage, The Garrick Year, Th...

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Margaret Drabble. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 10:43, August 08, 2020, from