Binary oppositions are the concepts that graft many approaches like feminism, postcolonialism, ecocriticism, African-American, and zoo-poetics. Considering one race, gender, or nationality as superior is what constitutes the dichotomies like, white/black, man/woman, and European/non-European. Ecofeminism, the focal point of this paper, deals with the connection between the oppression of women and the exploitation of nature. Oppositions such as culture/nature, human/animal, and male/female culminate in a myriad discrimination. Among many writers around the world whose concerns are the marginalized, one African-American and one Iranian female novelist are selected to be surveyed in this study. Both Ntozoke Shange (1948-2018) and Moniro Ravanipor (1952-present) are caring for nature, women, and women’s aesthetics. They utilize varied elements like language, style, characterization, and setting to render their meanings. Ravanipor’s The Gypsy by the Fire (1999) and Shange’s Sassafrass, Cypress & Indigo (1976) are the two novels that abound the examples of female oppression and social constructionism. Both writers cherish nature, art, and female journey throughout her life. The aim of this paper is a comparative study of the aforementioned novels, the main approach is ecofeminism and it will be pursued in different features; for example, style of writing, characterization, symbolism, language, and form. Some concepts like, traditional gender role, intersectionality, ecriture feminine, women’s aesthetics, and animal abuse are going to be investigated too. The present study is not an essentialist type of study which stabilizes some innate characteristics in women or nature. Moreover, the comparative study of the two novels does not signify any essentialist similarities, but it is only examining the journeys that women in various parts of the world experience.
An Ecofeminist, Comparative Reading of Moniru Ravanipor’s The Gypsy by the Fire and Ntozake Shange’s Sassafrass, Cypress & Indigo.
Journal of International Women's Studies, 21(1), 106-118.
Available at: https://vc.bridgew.edu/jiws/vol21/iss1/9