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Abstract


EXPLICATING FEMALE BODY AS A GEOGRAPHY OF MEMORY: THE COMPARATIVE SILENT REBELLION OF THE PSYCHE IN CHOPIN AND HAWTHORNE
What is both ideological and magical about ‘memory’ is the fact that it is both singular and plural which acts as a bridge between the personal and the collective. The example of that kind of a bridge is especially represented through literature. In Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter (1850) and Kate Chopin’s The Awakening (1899), the female body is used as a text to reflect both cultural and personal memory and to define how ‘memory’ is tried to be shaped by the society. One of America’s first mass-published books, The Scarlet Letter’s protagonist Hester Prynne illuminates the geography of the female body that rebels against the cultural memory through wearing the letter ‘A’ on her gown at all times that signifies ‘adultery.’ On the other hand, her silent rebellion has achieved to transform the letter ‘A’ into ‘Angel,’ ‘Artist,’ ‘Art,’ and ‘Able’ that is the declaration of independence of the personal memory over the cultural. Like Hester, in order to escape from the limitations of the cultural memory, Edna Pontellier in The Awakening rebels against cultural memory and learns to swim in the ocean and focuses on art which immediately overlap the definition of her role in life. The comparative analysis of both of the works underline the fact that the female body has been used as a geography of cultural memory throughout the history. However, Hester and Edna are significant for the fact that, the psychic device of both women is a silent rebellion which creates a social space to fight against cultural memory

Keywords
The Scarlet Letter, The Awakening, Memory, American Culture, Comparative Literature, Puritanism



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