Harold Bloom: Literary Troll or Defender of the Homogeneous Canon?

  Harold Bloom is widely regarded as a Titan among literary critics, both globally and in America.  His works on Shakespeare and Romanticism have earned him a place of favour among literary elitists who enjoy engaging in esoteric and self-important discourse.  In 2003, Bloom published a scathing and short-sighted response to the National Book Foundation’s decision to award […]

The Earnshaw Neighborhood and Patriarchal Morality

  Erskine Caldwell is never going to be confused with William Faulkner, though it might be fair to call him the populist incarnation of Faulkner, or better yet, the white-trash version of William Faulkner.  His novels, though not as beautifully written, often deal with the same subjects and share a similar setting, often even expressing […]

Girls on the Loose: Erskine Caldwell’s This Very Earth

  Erskine Caldwell was not exactly popular amongst Southern whites during his literary career because he often portrayed them in less-than-flattering terms, though he himself was a Southern white.  What earned him most of his money, though, was his treatment of sexual relations.  His most famous novel is God’s Little Acre, the sexual content of which stirred […]

The Cuntry Wife, by William Wycherley: The Comedic Incarnation of Othello

  There may be perhaps no comedy from the Restoration period that has been staged more than William Wycherley’s The Cuntry Wife.  The play was first performed in 1675 in an era in England that bore witness to the first professional female actresses on the island and also saw an excessive amount of sexual innuendo […]

Aphra Behn’s The History of the Nun (or The Fair Vow-Breaker): Constructs vs. Nature

    Aphra Behn’s The History of the Nun: Or The Fair Vow-Breaker is a novella from the famous Restoration dramatist, but the novella lacks the kind of character development and dialogue that made Behn such a popular dramatist.  The story certainly has dramatic (or perhaps melodramatic) twists that would have no doubt been entertaining […]

William Ard’s You Can’t Stop Me: Determinism and Existentialism in Pulp Fiction

William Ard was an author from the pulp era, producing as many as 30 novels in a 10-year span.  Born in 1922, Ard passed away of cancer in 1960.  During his writing career, Ard created several memorable characters: western frontier man Tom Buchanan, Floridian detective Lou Largo, and New York detective Timothy Dane.  It is […]

Subverting Patriarchy In Othello (If You Want To Be Happy For The Rest Of Your Life, Never Make A Pretty Woman Your Wife)

  In her essay, ‘Othello: Female Subjectivity and the Ovidian Discursive Tradition’, Evelyn Gajowski suggests that male“concern with possession is inflected in both the Petrarchan and the Ovidian discursive traditions that Shakespeare inherits, as well as in the institution of patriarchal marriage that characterizes his culture” (Gajowski, 84).  These influences serve as the core motivations […]

Cho Sung-Won and Feminine Sexual Autonomy In Shakespeare’s Measure For Measure

In her essay, “Renaissance Nun vs. Korean Gisaeng: Chastity and Female Celibacy in Measure for Measure and ‘Chun-Hyang Jeon’,” Cho Sung-Won argues that “women in patriarchal society, single, married, or widowed, can hardly enjoy full sexual autonomy” (Cho, 566) and that they are rather “driven to embrace the visions” (564) of sexuality dictated by the […]

Feminism and the Conflation of Men and Patriarchy

While there are some self-proclaimed feminists who might suggest that men can’t truly be feminists, I like to consider myself one despite the fact that I have a penis.  I am all for the advancement of women, and sexual equality and all the things it stands for.  I believe, for instance, the gender roles should […]