My Brilliant Friend By Elena Ferrante And Snow Flower And The Secret Fan

1300 Words Apr 26th, 2016 6 Pages
“My Brilliant Friend” by Elena Ferrante and “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan” by Lisa See are bildungsroman novels which follow the journeys of two young girls stuck in the lower class of patriarchal societies, who both attempt to free themselves from their confinements and achieve self-actualisation. Abraham Maslow defines self-actualisation as “the desire for self-fulfilment, namely the tendency for him (the individual) to become actualised in what he is potentially.” In his theory proposed in his 1943 paper, “A Theory Of Human Motivation”, “Maslow states that most people are motivated to seek improvements in their lives” and “The deficiency of basic needs are said to motivate people when they are unmet.” Both novels reflect an idea congruent with that of Maslow’s, that the oppression of women and the effects of being lower class drive individuals to desire to achieve self-actualisation. Both authors employ the use of rhetorical devices to convey these ideas to the readers. Symbolism and vernacular are utilised to convey these ideas to the reader. Both girls used education and literacy to liberate themselves from their situations, although their contrasting contexts cause this education to take different, comparable forms.

The context of both novels reflects a time of change in women’s lives. Symbolism is used in the novels to epitomise the patriarchal societal structure and the ways in which each girl attempts to overcome this barrier of oppression to achieving…

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