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The Representation of the Mother Figure in the Magic Toyshop

  • Date Submitted: 01/08/2013 11:27 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 45.3 
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Luce Irigaray in her essay “The bodily encounter with her mother” discusses the struggle of women in patriarchal society and argues that women as gender suffer from ‘madness’. According to Irigaray, the reason women are mad, is that they are suppressed and concealed within patriarchy and all its various elements like culture, literature or science. Luce Irigaray begins her lecture by condemning the absent men and their lack of attention and concern regarding the theme of the colloquium ‘Woman and madness’ which she introduced for the first time as a lecture at the meeting. (533). She explains that their absence could possibly be causing irrationality and madness in women, since women are hardly ever heard.
All serious domains of power have been controlled by men even the determination of female roles in society. Irigaray states that each sex relates to madness in its own way and then connects madness to desire (533). This madness manifests itself in the relationship with the mother. The woman’s maternal function is the foundation of society but it is only perceived on the level of basic needs. Where desire is concerned, especially in its religious dimension, the role of the maternal-feminine power is often nullified. She also claims   that woman is so much more than child bearers; she brings something other than children into the world. (538). Irigaray encourages women to reclaim their right to pleasure, passion, restore their right to speech, cries and anger.(539)
She counters Freud’s theory of patricide establishing social order with the story of Clytemnestra. (534-536). Likewise, in contemporary society, the ruling power lies with the father at the expense of the mother (535-536) so Irigary calls for the solidarity among women to “discover the singularity of our jouissance” and to reject the patriarchal society. She reminds her audience that a maternal ancestry exists and that its genealogy should not be forgotten but women should discover their sexual...


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