Rewriting Leda and the Swan: An Ecofeminist Analysis of Angela Carter’s The Magic Toyshop (1967), and Lorna Crozier’s “Forms of Innocence” (1985) and “The Swan Girl” (1995)
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Angela Carter (1940-1992) and Lorna Crozier (1948) are two examples of contemporary writers who dedicate part of their work to problematizing historically established constructs that undermine the agency of both nature and women. Carter’s and Crozier’s agenda is, thus, in line with ecofeminist tenets, which are based on the interconnectedness of all living things on a non-hierarchical level. The intention of this article is to conduct a contrastive analysis of Crozier’s and Carter’s retelling of the account of Leda and the swan originally described in Ovid’s Metamorphoses (8 AD) and later in W.B. Yeats’s poem “Leda and the Swan” (1928). We contend that both Carter’s and Crozier’s versions of the myth challenge patriarchal domination by giving voice to and empowering Leda, the young female character in the myth. This empowerment is closely associated to Leda’s harmonization with the natural world, since, by going back to nature, the young Ledas in Carter’s and Crozier’s works come to terms with their adolescent bodies in order to become women stripped of restrictive cultural and social beliefs. Accordingly, the original meaning of the figure of the swan is also subverted to adopt connotations more in tune with the creation of a sense of community that challenge the powerful enclosed violence that Ovid and Yeats attributed to this animal by presenting it as Zeus in disguise.
Is part ofEcozon@, 2018, vol. 9, núm. 2, p. 106-121
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