Cover image for Gynicide : women in the novels of William Styron
Gynicide : women in the novels of William Styron
Hadaller, David, 1954-
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Publication Information:
Madison [N.J.] : Fairleigh Dickinson University Press ; London : Associated University Presses, [1996]

Physical Description:
218 pages ; 24 cm
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Format :


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PS3569.T9 Z73 1996 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Based on the work of Mikhail Bakhtin, this study of the important female characters in Styron's major fiction explores how women are silenced both by suicide and male violence.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Are William Styron's novels, as more than one critic has suggested, "male chauvinist," "exploitive and sensationalistic," or even "overt or covert misogyny"? Acknowledging that Styron's works feature women characters who "suffer egregiously and either commit suicide or succumb to violent physical death at men's hands," Hadaller uses close analysis based on Bakhtin's theories of heteroglossia to clear Styron's four novels of such charges. He argues that Styron gives even his most marginalized women characters voices that provide a feminist dialogic to refute or moderate the authoritarian monologism of their male-privileged worlds. As a result of the evidence Hadaller marshals, readers can appreciate the complexity of the gender issues that have so intrigued Styron and the balance Styron has sought to bring to their treatment. Hadaller shines in his astute analysis of theme and technique in the four central chapters of this book, almost making it worth one's while to trudge through the theoretical morass of his beginning and ending chapters, in which he coins terms like "gynicide" and "psychogynicide" to gussy up what might otherwise have been perceived as just commonsense insights. There are a few editing/proofreading lapses. Useful primarily for upper-division undergraduate and graduate students. A. J. Griffith Our Lady of the Lake University